Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making Dough with Diane: April-May 2013

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

Getting the right message out

Before you review your menu for the new year, consider these big consumer trends

Before you review your menu for the new year, consider these big consumer trends.

In today’s fast-paced world of digital and mobile technology, consumers are constantly bombarded by marketing and advertising campaigns for different products. With so many choices, it’s easy for consumers to become completely overwhelmed about what they should order.

A pizza box begins as a blank slate. What message will you convey on yours?



To make sure consumers remember your products, it is important for your pizza operation to provide as much useful and easily understood information as possible. In order to deliver this type of service, you must communicate your products and your brand to your customers using engaging signage, point-of-purchase materials (POPs), labels, packaging, merchandising displays, graphics and other tools.

1. Write effective POPs
Writing an effective POP can help convince a customer to try something new. Spell out the benefits of your products on each POP, and list the reasons they should buy it. Instead of writing “Veggie Pizza,” try “Heart-healthy vegetarian pizza with fresh spinach, tomatoes, onions, green and red peppers, mushrooms and black olives on a whole-grain, handmade crust. Each slice contains only 130 calories.”

2. in-store merchandising
Using proper in-store merchandising techniques will help build connections between the product and the customer, resulting in more impulse and trial sales. Try setting up a large, eye-catching display of your salads or appetizers to encourage customers to see and notice the product. Take advantage of offering free samples as customers enter – ultimately you want to entice the customer into buying it. Use proper signage around the display to highlight its features and benefits.

3. Use floor graphics and floor stands
A good way to drive your customers to beverages, snacks, desserts or other retail products you might sell in your pizza operation is to use floor graphics to lead them there. If you sell bags of chips, it’s a good idea to put a floor graphic right at the entrance of your store to alert customers that you sell chips. 

4. Display the ingredients
Consider highlighting the freshness and wholesomeness of your salads and pizzas by showcasing the ingredients you use. For example, set up fresh or fake tomatoes, onions, pepperoni, salami, artichokes, wheels of cheese, wheat sheaves, grains, tins of olive oil, big jars of olives and other props around your countertops and display cases to show customers that all the ingredients you use are fresh.

5. Design proper packaging and labels
If your pizza operation is mainly for takeout and delivery, ensure that your packaging not only is cohesive with your branding, but also supplies useful information such as a list of ingredients and nutritional information. If your operation prides itself on using all natural ingredients, make sure your pizza box highlights this fact.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or through, or visit

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