Pizza has been a global favorite for decades, but the growing demand for on-the-go food options has led to steady growth. According to a Research and Markets report, the global pizza market is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3.68% between 2016 and 2020.
Although this Italian staple is enjoyed the world over, its popularity is far greater in North America where the pizza industry had a market value of approximately US $50.07 billion in 2017, compared to $46.99 billion in Western Europe, $15.07 billion in Latin America, and $3.9 billion in Eastern Europe.
The latest Kantar figures peg the United Kingdom retail frozen pizza market as worth £452 million last year, with value growth of 6.4% and a volume increase of 3.5%. This makes it one of the strongest volume performers among frozen categories in UK retail stores.
“Frozen growth in this sector is superior to chilled, with value up 5.5% and volume +3.3% compared to chilled showing value growth of 3.5% but declining in volume by 1.1%,” said John Hyman, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation. “This shows that through new product development and innovation combined with a change in consumer attitudes towards frozen, more shoppers are heading to the frozen aisles.”
Indeed, consumers are increasingly looking to buy higher quality, restaurant standard food at retail stores. Manufacturers have taken this on board and introduced a variety of innovative products that meet demand for authentic world flavors.
“Our takeaway range has enjoyed phenomenal success in recent years,” said Robert Cooper, head of exports at Naas, County Kildare, Ireland-based Green Isle Foods. “Innovation is key to driving the frozen foods sector.”
Twist On a Classic
Today’s consumers are seeking the real deal, but want something creative and new too. Big Al’s, based in Preston, England, has tapped into the lucrative pizza market by introducing authentic stone-oven baked Pizza Twists.
“Italian Pizza Twists are well suited to on-the-go snacking, adding relevance to the street food trend so popular with millennials,” said Michelle Stapleton, brand manager of the Kepak Frozen Division at Big Al’s Food Solutions.
Available in pepperoni and margherita, the twists are an efficient option that come complete with consumer-ready packaging sleeves. They’re ready in 60 seconds from frozen.
Also in the range are Breakfast Twists, which allows operators to cash in on the morning trade. Made with fully cooked bacon, cheese and egg wrapped in Italian dough, they provide the ideal AM offering to eat on the go.
Germany holds the world record for bread varieties, with more than 3,200 kinds to choose from. In fact, per capita consumption tops 80 kilograms of bread and baked goods on average each year.
Nestlé’s Wagner frozen pizza operation, based in Nonnweiler, has taken advantage of the German population’s love of bread with the introduction of Steinofen BäckerKruste Salami pizza – frozen, stone oven bread slices topped with fine edam and aromatic red onions on a sour cream yoghurt. Other variants in the range include Tomate Käse (Cheese and Tomato), Schinken (Ham and Spring Onion), and Wiener Würstchen (Vienna Sausages, Pickled Cucumbers and Fried Onion).
“This is a classic snack – crispy stone oven bread with hearty and juicy toppings, enjoyed with its extra crispy crust fresh from the oven,” said Oliver Schoss, Nestlé Wagner’s marketing director.
Sign of the Times
The health and wellness category has been expanding as more and more consumers are searching for healthier versions of their favorite dishes. With nearly 10% of Germany’s population going meatless (www.euroveg.eu) and over 1% of Brits (www.vegansociety.com) and 6% of Americans (www.onegreenplanet.org) now following a vegan diet regimen, there has never been greater demand for meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey-free products.
Green Isle Foods has taken note of this burgeoning market and launched a new vegan pizza under the Goodfella’s and San Marco brands, which are being acquired by Feltham, England-based Nomad Foods Limited from a subsidiary of Boparan Holdings Ltd. for approximately €225 million.
The stone-baked thin pizza base is topped with tomato sauce, covered with falafel, red peppers, spinach, white onion and harissa sauce with a hummus drizzle. The product, which is endorsed by the Vegan society, is being distributed throughout Europe.
“The health and wellness frozen food category has exploded over the last few years, and 2018 is no exception as young millennials across Europe are driving demand for vegetarian products,” said Robert Cooper, head of exports at Green Isle. “This trend is not confined to vegan and vegetarians, as consumers who are adopting a more flexitarian lifestyle are incorporating more plant foods into their diets, which is driving demand for not only vegan products, but vegetarian products as well.”
Galileo is Streets Ahead
The street food phenomenon has taken Europe by storm, which has resulted in manufacturers producing a wide assortment of hand-held products with flavorful influences from all over the globe.
One company at the cutting edge of innovation is Trierweiler, Germany-based Galileo Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG, which has introduced Street Food Pizzas and Pizza Buns. Presenting a modern take on the classics, these ranges bring hand-held snacking to another level.
The Street Food Pizza range includes Indian Chicken made from dough baked in a stone oven, covered with a sour cream sauce, cheddar, chicken and grilled vegetables. Pizza Nacho takes advantage of the popularity of Mexican cuisine with its toppings of cooked beef, vegetables, nacho chips and mozzarella cheese.
Galileo’s Pizza Buns offer finger-friendly bites. The range comprises wheat dough buns featuring a variety of fillings including tomato, salami and ham.
Dr. Oetker’s Easy Option
With research recently revealing that pizza has taken the UK’s top menu spot, there has never been a better time for foodservice outlets to consider introducing the Italian classic to their menus.
Dr. Oetker Professional has recently launched a frozen Raw Dough Pizza base that is pre-prepared, but rises in the oven for the first time to deliver a freshly baked, authentic crust. This means operators can offer freshly baked, consistently good pizzas to order without the hassle of making them from scratch.
The nine-inch rising dough pizza base comes topped with a classic tomato passata so foodservice operators just need to add ingredients of their choice and bake for just minutes to produce a perfect pizza.
“Classic pizzas will always be core for menus, from the simply delicious Margherita to a meaty Pepperoni,” said Emma Haworth, senior brand manager at Dr. Oetker Professional. “Operators have the opportunity to get creative and tap into the latest food trends – the only limit is your imagination.”
Today’s pizza industry is adapting to the more adventurous tastes of the public with new and improved recipes. As demand for pizza continues to grow, consumers’ tastes are evolving with expectations for global flavors, so it seems the only direction for the industry to go is up. – Reported by Sarah Welsh