In 2017, the world wide pizza industry raked in $134 Billion, with the United States making up $45 Billion of that market. While the overall market saw an increase in sales, the number of independent US pizzerias declined – which points to the increasing competitive nature of the pizza industry.
Customer centricity. Meaning, the pizzerias seeing a ton of success have a strong web presence, including online and mobile ordering, social media, and delivery.
When looking at online presence, there is a direct correlation between fast-growing pizzerias and their web rankings, the higher the rankings the more successful the pizzeria.
When taking a look at Dominoes, a lot of their success is attributed to their digital strategy. The company gets 60% of its orders from through digital platforms and has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017 for its zero-click ordering app, and the overall 10 ways a customer can order pizza online, including tweeting a pizza emoji via Twitter or opening a chat on Facebook Messenger.
“Our focus on technology and consumer access via digital ordering continues to give us an edge over our competition, particularly versus the smaller players that continue to lag behind. Even if the regionals catch up to the level of technology we currently offer, we’re already several years ahead of them and expect to keep pushing to lead the industry on technological innovation,” Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle has said.
Pizza Hut is a good example of using social media to drive sales through finessed customer targeting. For businesses with bigger budgets, they can use social listening tools to better sell their pizzas to coincide with trending social events and opportunities.
Why is this important? Of the over one million mentions on social media sites about the restaurant, food and beverage industry, 57 percent of these were about quick service restaurants, according to Statistica. #PizzaStats
Pizza accounts for some 60% of the online food delivery market, a $10 billion market. A number of delivery technology trends like, route optimization, delivery tracking, customer relationship management, and delivery analytics has made delivery possible for pizzerias big and small.
But how do customers want to receive their pizza? In the survey by AlixPartners, among those who order delivery, 71% said they prefer to get delivery directly from the restaurant, while only 8% said they prefer it through a third-party intermediary. By delivering directly from the restaurant, orders are likely to be more accurate and timely.
Unique ingredients, different pizza shapes, and catering to different dieting philosophies are taking the spotlight.
This year, food bloggers were all about unicorn and cauliflower crust pizzas. In an effort to capitalize on the unicorn frappuccino momentum, Manhattan’s Industry Kitchen, boasts the rainbow looking Pop Candy Land Pizza. Marketing scheme? Likely. But this marketing play is a smart way to bring in new diners and drive brand awareness.
Healthy pizza pies are all the rage. From vegan to gluten-free, chain and independent restaurateurs are recognizing the demand for healthier alternatives. For example, California Pizza Kitchen is unveiling cauliflower crust as its new 2018 healthy, lower-carb and gluten-free pizza option. While pizza traditionalists might cringe at the thought of vegan cheese, modern pizzerias are recognizing the ROI in gram-worthy pizza and healthy and diverse options.
This is the square pizza, and square pizzas are having their moment. The unique shape comes from the square-shaped pans that were used in the Detroit automotive industry to hold small parts. The novelty of the square shape coupled with the nostalgia of Detroit automotive culture, has found its way to menus across the US.
Local, Organic, And Nutrition Transparency
The Nielsen Global Health and Ingredient Sentiment Survey polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 63 countries to understand how consumers feel about the foods and beverages available on store shelves. In it, 31% of respondents from North America said they or someone in their household suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.
Similar to California Pizza Kitchen’s introduction of a healthier menu, chains like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are eliminating artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives to a promote a cleaner eating image. Independent pizzerias are using local ingredients to differentiate their pies from the larger chains – recognizing Millennials demand for local and ethically sourced foods. Among NRA’s ‘Top 10 Concept Trends” includes: hyper-local sourcing, natural ingredients/clean menus, and environmental sustainability.
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