What will this year bring for America’s favorite food? Pizza Today surveyed 750 pizzeria owners across all 50 states for their 2023 State of the Pizzeria Industry Report. While the comprehensive report focuses on independent pizzerias, the hottest trends in restaurants today will inform product development for the packaged food industry in the future.
Here are four top pizza trends from Pizza Today’s report that pizza manufacturers should take note of.
Gluten-free and cauliflower crusts
Nearly two-thirds of pizzerias offer a gluten-free crust option, while almost one-third (35%) offer cauliflower crust.
According to Future Market Insights, the global gluten-free pizza crust market will reach $5 billion by 2032. Cauliflower crust has also experienced steady growth as consumers seek healthier options. Grubhub named cauliflower pizza their “Top Food of the Year” in 2019. In 2020, sales of frozen pizza with cauliflower crust grew 36%, while the overall category of frozen pizza with gluten-free crust grew 30%.
Chicago thin and Detroit-style pizzas
Although New York-style pizza is the top style overall, some new styles of pizzas are making their way into restaurants. Chicago thin, aka tavern-style, pizza landed in this year’s top five styles on pizza menus. This pizza has a thin crust and, although it is a circle pie, it’s often cut into squares.
Among operators planning to add a pizza style to their menu, the most popular choice is Detroit-style, which is square, has a spongy focaccia dough, and comes loaded with cheese all the way out to the edges.
Bacon entered the top five ingredients list for the first time this year, joining pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and extra cheese. This is a result the market has been building for some time – back in 2014, bacon was the fastest-growing protein for pizzas.
Learn more about the types of bacon used for pizza from Chef John Gutenkanst of award-winning Avalanche Pizza in Athens, OH.
Plant-based meats and cheeses
While plant-based meats and cheeses didn’t make the top 20 ingredients, they were the most researched and tested options in Pizza Today’s survey. They are also the top new toppings that pizza operators have added to their menus in the past year.
For more information about what’s hot in pizza, including top trending ingredients, read the full report.