The product development folks at Hormel Foods, maker of the best-selling retail pepperoni in the United States, are on top of innovative pizza toppings following the Austin, Minnesota-headquartered company’s participation in the recently held International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Brand Manager Anthony Panichelli, who for years has focused on Hormel’s pizza toppings portfolio, is offering five trends to watch in the coming months, as follows:
Plant-based Pizza Toppings
The plant-based food market is continuing to boom as curious consumers experiment with meat alternatives to add more plant-based protein to their diets. Hormel has positioned its Happy Little Plants pepperoni-style topping offering of pizzaiolos as “a perfect way to add the burst of flavor people love and expect from real-meat pepperoni, with a plant-based spin.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the winning culinary combo S.F.A.H. (salt, fat, acid, heat). According to Panichelli, eyes are on the acid component right now. Not only does citrus offer a splash of color, but think about how a lemon wedge can add a new level of acid and create a delicious flavor profile.
Enter fried pizza to demonstrate that even improvement on perfection is possible to achieve. Known as Montanara style, the crispy and delectable variation is served up by Larry Bistrot in Naples, Italy, and by Don Antonio in New York City.
Potato and Pizza
Potatoes and pizza are pairing up at places like Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis and Bonci in Chicago. This new-on-the-scene dynamic duo deserves a try, according to Panichelli.
Nashville is Calling
When it comes to pizza pizzazz in the United States, many people thing of New York City, Chicago and Detroit, and rightly so. But the field is widening geogaphically. Nashville suddenly has a lot more than country music and slow and low cooked barbecue to celebrate, thanks to Michael Hanna and St. Vito’s Focacciaria’s world-class dough, and Joey’s House of Pizza’s homage to the classic pie. Meanwhile, Folk is earning a reputation for its neo-Neapolitan pizza, City House has a one-of-a-kind belly ham pizza, and Slim & Husky’s is another standout.