Canadian Pizza Magazine

News
Pizzerias keep prices flat


February 14, 2012
By Canadian Pizza

February 14, 2012, Chicago – Pizza restaurants continue to be the big cheese and are performing well, despite tough economic conditions, a new report from Mintel shows.

Mintel reported that pizza restaurants are focusing on value in order to draw in patrons. With this strategy, pizzerias expect to see a modest 2.9 per cent sales increase in 2012.

"The competitive nature of the pizza industry keeps the leading companies on their toes," says Eric Giandelone, foodservice director at Mintel. "Menu innovation, thoughtful pricing and national promotions aimed at value have been driving sales in the past several years and are expected to continue in the future."

In order to remain competitive, the average pizza price has remained fairly flat (up only one per cent) in the past three years. Restaurants have been making up for it by increasing the price of other menu items, such as vegetables (up 13 per cent), desserts (up 12 per cent) and pasta (up 11 per cent).

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Salad is the fourth-leading item mentioned on pizza menus, garnering the biggest increase (10 per cent) in the past three years. Restaurants are making an effort to add a more healthful slant to their menus to counter the unhealthfulness of pizza, as well as bolster sales with a simple add-on. This will also prove helpful when chain restaurants are required to show calorie counts on their menus in the years to come.

Convenient location, price, speed of service and pizza variety are the four most important factors in determining the choice of a particular pizza restaurant, each with more than 80 per cent agreement among Mintel respondents who have gotten pizza from a restaurant in the past month. However, having ready-made pizza and/or a pizza buffet is enticing, especially to lower-income patrons and those with children, likely for the added-value proposition.

At 38 per cent, thin crust is the most-preferred crust among pizza restaurant-goers. Pan-style and thick crust are nearly even as the second favorite crust types (20 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively). When it comes to toppings, pepperoni is clearly on top at 67 per cent, followed by mushrooms, sausage and onions (53 per cent, 53 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively). Anchovies prove to be a little too fishy for most taste buds with only five per cent of pizza patrons wanting them on their pie.