Menu trends for pizza in 2019: The Pizza Chef

Menu trends for pizza in 2019
Diana Cline
January 30, 2019
I hope you had a nice holiday season and found a way to have some time off and away from your business.

As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” and time off is a good way to recharge.

Whether you’re the type to set firm goals for each year or not, you can always improve some area of your business, and your life. That’s not to say you need a complete overhaul – although, maybe you do – but as one of my mentors likes to say, “Little hinges swing big doors.”

In this column I’ll share three of my predictions for menu trends for pizza in 2019. Hope you pick up something to swing a big door!

INTERNATIONAL FUSION PIZZAS
Canadian palates are growing more sophisticated by the day. We are a multicultural society and that helps us be exposed to more styles of cooking, more spices, more flavours and more textures. While there will always be a demand for pepperoni pizza, more millennials and self-appointed foodies are ready and willing to push the boundaries on the usual.

Look at international dishes for some inspiration: dishes like teriyaki fried onions and teriyaki and Kung Pao chicken add unique and delicious components to any pizza.

I recently brought in kimchi from a local company, and featured it in three new specialty pizzas and a new flatbread. If you’re not familiar with kimchi, it’s Korea’s national dish. Encyclopedia Britannica calls it a spicy, fermented pickle and provides this description: “The vegetables most commonly used in its preparation are celery, cabbage, Chinese turnip, and cucumber. The prepared vegetables are sliced, highly seasoned with red pepper, onion, and garlic, and fermented in brine in large earthenware jars. Dried and salted shrimp, anchovy paste, and oysters are sometimes used as additional seasonings.”

It’s loaded with nutrients, prebiotics and probiotics, so it’s very healthy. It’s also vegetarian and boasts amazing textures and flavours. It has a natural heat to it, so if you want to – literally – spice up your menu, this is a great addition.

I had a great response to two specialty pizzas made with kimchi. Sweet Kimchi Paradise features marinara, kimchi, barbecue chicken, barbecue pulled pork with a splash of hot sauce, and pineapple with an extra cheese blend of Monterey Jack and mozzarella.

Flatbread BBQ Chicken Kimchi features olive-oil-and-herbs sauce, garlic-and-chive havarti, barbecue chicken, strip bacon and fresh kimchi (meaning, it’s put on cold, as a garnish). It’s also really nice with green peppers and capicolla ham.

LOCAL INGREDIENTS
This trend has been growing steadily for a few years and it’s still growing strong.  Canadians are more informed than ever and want to know where the ingredients for their meals come from.

“Local” is the word of the year. A recent study in Manitoba revealed that 78 per cent of Manitobans would purchase local foods if they were available where they usually shop. Think on that fact for your menus.

We recently switched to a locally grown and milled flour for all our dough recipes. People like supporting their local economies. And people like knowing their food was grown close to where they live.

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN PIZZAS
I’ve written extensively about the growing vegan and vegetarian markets for pizza. Our pizzeria’s vegan and vegetarian sales grew exponentially in 2018 and I expect the same for 2019.

Roast those mushrooms, bring in zucchini, asparagus, and yes, broccoli too! Caramelize those onions! You want to wow your regulars and attract new vegan and vegetarian clientele to your establishment.

Our society is growing, with many new Canadians who are mostly vegetarian. Plus, studies show the biggest growth in this market is from meat eaters cutting back and looking for tasty vegetarian options for their favourite dishes.

It’s like adding a new revenue stream to your business – just bringing in a few new ingredients and changing up how you serve them on your pizza. •


Diana Cline is a two-time Canadian Pizza magazine Chef of the Year, three-time winner of “Canada’s Best Pizza Chef” at international pizza competitions, a judge for international pizza culinary competitions in Las Vegas, Italy and France, and a partner with Diana’s Cucina & Lounge in Winnipeg. In addition to creating award-winning recipes, Diana is a consultant to other pizzeria owner/operators in menu development, creating systems to run a pizzeria on autopilot, along with marketing and positioning to help operators grow their business effectively and strategically. She is available for consulting on a limited basis. For more details, contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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