Customers Want Natural – What You Can Do About It
Consumers are more aware than ever of what is going into their food. They want fresh and natural ingredients, and are more than willing to pay a premium for them.
If you are ready to switch up your menu and offer your customers something different, you are not alone. In fact, one thing we can all agree on is that we are looking for something new! Nine out of ten QSR operators say that food trends are either as important or more important than before the pandemic¹ as 79% of consumers are craving something new.² Consider these top growing ingredients on pizza menus across the country as you look to add a new menu item or limited time offer (LTO) in your restaurant.
The development of this list is based on the 4-year growth and menu penetration of ingredients on pizza menus as supplied by Datassential’s Pizza Insights Report, August 2020. Menu penetration is defined as the percent of restaurants that offer a specific food, flavor or ingredient.
Burrata is the fastest growing cheese (and ingredient in general) with an astounding 75% 4-year growth on pizza menus. This creamy and delicate cheese adds a fresh, delicious finish to any pie and is sought after by your customers. Over half of consumers that have tried burrata like or love it3, and their consumption is increasing! Thirty-five percent of consumers who eat burrata at least once a month say they’ve increased their consumption of it over the past year.4 Meet and create demand for burrata on pizzas by introducing it to your neighborhood.
Grande’s Bacon, Egg and Burrata Brunch Pizza recipe brings burrata to life in a growing daypart. This recipe is also on trend with the growing popularity of breakfast pizzas (14% 4-year menu growth) and eggs on pizza (27% 4-year menu growth).
Is soppressata the new pepperoni? This fastest growing pizza protein is still not commonly found on pizza menus, giving you the opportunity to introduce it to your customers. Sixty-one percent of consumers that have tried soppressata like or love it.3 This salty, spicy meat pairs well with prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato, making it a perfect addition for a specialty pizza!
Try soppressata in Grande’s Spicy Soppressata & Provolone Pie or Charcuterie Board Pizza recipe. Pictured above, this on-trend recipe features four ingredients that are growing on menus, including soppressata, prosciutto and peppadew peppers.
This fast-growing pizza variety has experienced continued popularity on menus across the country. Between the creamy ranch and salty bacon, it’s no surprise that 70% of consumers that have tried it like or love it.3
Specifically, “Applewood Smoked Bacon” is trending with a 37% 4-year growth on menus, and is consistently a favorite for those who’ve given it a taste as 85% of people like it or love it.3 This attention to detail also merits charging more on your menu. On average, you can charge $1 more for pizzas that feature “Applewood Smoked Bacon” compared to just “Bacon”.5
This nostalgic pizza variety is growing on menus and meets current consumer demand for comfort foods. Twenty-six percent of frequent QSR patrons are eating more comfort foods since the pandemic.3 Additionally, 49% of consumers want to see more comfort/classic foods in family-meal options.6 With kids across the US going back to school, many of them virtually, there is also a new opportunity to increase lunch sales. Thirty-eight percent of parents will turn to hot meals for their kids’ lunch and 56% will eat the same lunch that they feed their kids.7 The classic appeal of mac & cheese pizza provides a lunch option that is kid (and parent) approved.
Differentiate your mac & cheese pizza with asiago! Asiago is the third fastest growing pizza cheese (4-year growth of 20%) and adds a signature flavor. Grande’s Asiago has a distinct, slightly buttery and earthy flavor and will add richness to your creamy cheese sauce. Use our Asiago Cheese Sauce to get started with your mac & cheese pizza today! Click here to request a product tasting of Grande Asiago.
This leafy green is still on the list of growing pizza ingredients. While it is relatively well represented on pizza menus in total, it still has limited availability on QSR pizza menus. Now is a great time to introduce a healthier-for-you pizza variety as 46% of consumers are looking for more healthy/better-for-you foods in family meals6 and 20% of frequent fast casual patrons are starting to eat more healthy foods.3
Not sure how to incorporate arugula on your pizza? It pairs best with tomatoes! Give it a try in our Arugula & Fresh Mozzarella Pizza recipe.
This classic pasta sauce recipe is emerging on pizzas across the country. It is the fastest growing sauce on pizzas over the last four years. Not commonly found on pizza, it can be a unique differentiator for your specialty pie. It pairs well with tomato, chicken, parmesan and garlic.
As you look to offer your customers something new, whether it be expanding your menu or testing a new limited time offer, use these trending ingredients as inspiration for your culinary creativity! If you’re looking for pointers to implement and promote an LTO, learn more in our LTO Best Practices sheet and blog post.