Industry News | January 23, 2014

Food Genius Study: Pizza on 40 Percent of Menus

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Pizza is one of the most common dishes found across U.S. restaurants and is featured on 40 percent of all menus. The prevalence of pizza has been identified in Slicing the Pie: Pizza Stats & Trends in the U.S., the latest industry research conducted by Food Genius, a Chicago-based technology and services company tracking the foodservice industry. According to the latest study derived from Food Genius Reports, the appeal of pizza continues to hold strong with the growth of nontraditional sauces such as barbecue sauce and toppings such as shrimp. Menu inclusions of gluten-free pizzas and flatbreads reflect diners’ need for customization and variety.

"We’ve noticed in the last few quarters of data that pizza has gotten simpler, with restaurants putting more emphasis on fresh ingredients and new preparation methods,” says Food Genius cofounder Benjamin Stanley. “We've seen examples in our data with the rise of Margherita pizzas, as well as with the rising popularity of fast casual pizza chains like Pie Five Pizza Co. and Blaze Pizza.”

Among chain and independent operators that menu pizza, tomato and barbecue are the leading sauces found on pizza at 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

There has been a 1 percent increase in the number of chain menus that include Margherita pizza, between Q2 and Q4 of 2013.               

Gluten-free pizza is offered on 38 percent of menus that offer gluten-free items. Pizza is the leading gluten-free dish, after salad, across all menus and all meal parts.