From Grandma’s Kitchen to Your Menu – The Evolution of the Grandma Pizza
Learn the history of Grandma Pizza, the East Coast specialty pie gaining popularity in pizzerias across the country.
The above image showcases a special star-shaped pizza with Grande Sopraffina folded into the star tips from San Giorgio in Milwaukee, WI.
From Detroit-Style and Grandma pies to Neapolitan and Roman pizzas, the industry has been buzzing with the growing demand for regional and artisanal pizza styles. However, there is a sleeping giant in the form of stuffed crust pizza, the pizza trend with the highest consumer appeal among the 11 Mega Trends identified by Datassential.¹
The term “stuffed crust” is now a common and understood concept in family households. What’s not to like? It’s a pizza with cheese, meat or any number of ingredients stuffed into the end crust to make an irresistible treat not only for pizza fans, but for anyone who doesn’t typically eat the crust. Or for the select few who have a habit of eating their pizza backwards.
Stuffed crust pizza is now available in almost every major pizzeria chain. It’s also in the frozen pizza section of the grocery store. Consumers are even posting their own and discovering recipes online to make at home.
More than half of all consumers (56%) say they are extremely or very interested in stuffed crust pizzas. Additionally, 72% of Millennials are drawn to stuffed crust. Yet, independent operator adoption of stuffed crust is low. Only 19% of pizza-serving operator survey respondents currently offer stuffed crust pizza.¹ It’s not too late to add it to your menu to keep up with and surpass the competition with your own unique creation.
Though Pizza Hut has claimed the invention of the stuffed crust pizza, Papa John’s is reaping the benefits. Recently, they said sales have risen 26% in the first three months of 2021, due largely to the success of their Epic Stuffed Crust pizza.²
As an independent operator, you can take sales even further when you consider a higher price for the novelty of a stuffed crust. Coupled with high quality ingredients, operators can charge a premium with stuffed crust pizza — 42% higher than all other pizzas.³
Joe’s Rotisseria, an independent pizzeria and Grande 100-Percenter in New Jersey, champions the idea of stuffed crust pizza, putting their own spin on it to create new altered-crust creations. Like their Chicken Parmesan Slider Crust and Buffalo Pinwheel Crust, stuffing multiple ingredients into the crust producing two meals in one.
Customers are always on the lookout for the latest trends in innovative dining, especially after a pandemic when they are desperate to get out and try something new. What will you stuff into your crust? Below are a few ideas to get you started. Get your staff and customers in on the fun to see what ideas they can come up with, too.
If you want to go the traditional route and stuff your crust with cheese, Grande offers all of the authentic, all natural Italian cheeses you need. Straight up Mozzarella, or one of our Italian Blends will elevate your pies. For a creamier option, use one of our four styles of Ricotta with some aged Parmesan mixed in.
Don’t let the chains own this trend. As an independent operator, you have the advantage by always using high quality ingredients and providing a superior customer experience. Before adding stuffed crust pizza to your menu, test it as an LTO or special (click here for best practices) and be sure to promote it on your social media, website and in your restaurant. You’ll add sales and attract a new fan base with a crowd pleaser that has endless possibilities.