Market research provider Mintel recently came up with new consumer statisticson pizza, highlighting how pizza restaurants concentrate on “value” to continue drawing customers. Such strategy is expected to generate a modest 2.9% increase in pizza restaurants’ sales this year.
Along with national promotions that target value, restaurants have also been focusing on thoughtful pricing and menu innovation to drive more sales the past year, and expect that these factors shall also help drive customer traffic in the coming months.
Flat price on pizza
To maintain its competitiveness, the average price of pizza has stayed reasonably flat in the last three years, up by only 1%. Restaurants, however, were able to survive by making up with price increases on other menu offerings like vegetables, which have gone up by 13%, desserts at 12%, pasta at 11% and salads, which went up by 10%.
Restaurant chefs, in their stylish chef uniforms, have exerted efforts coming up with healthful add-ons to their pizzas, such as vegetables and salads to defy the unhealthy image that pizza have built up over the years. (We featured a report on the demand for vegetables and salads a few weeks back.) Other than reinforcing sales with these simple add-ons, this type of positioning also proves beneficial to restaurant chains which will soon be required to show the calorie counts of their food items in their menus.
80% of Mintel’s respondents agree that the four important attributes that consumers consider when they look for a pizza restaurant to visit are price, convenient location, pizza variety and fast service. Pizza buffets and ready-made pizzas also proved appealing to lower-income customers, especially those with children.
Crust, toppings and incentives that pizza-lovers like
As for crusts, 38% of consumers say that thin crust is what they prefer when they eat pizza. 20% says that pan-style is best, while 19% declared that they love thick crust.
With toppings, pepperoni still turned out to be the undisputed favorite, with a 67% vote; mushrooms and sausage came second with 53% vote each; and onions came third with 41%. Despite popular notion, anchovies turned out to be the lowest type of topping that customers want on their pie, with only a 5% score.
Mintel also accounted in a separate report last year that one of the best ways to increase pizza restaurant sales is giving incentives to the customers, such as upfront promotions like buy one get one offers (BOGOF) and loyalty cards. The market research firm also established the need for pizza restaurants to cater to all dayparts, offering all day dining options to their customers. Pizza restaurant chefs in cool chef uniforms introduced several new offerings that would address this need, such as mini-pizza breads, or pizzettes, which proved to be ideal in providing light menus to customers who are looking for new dishes that they can eat at different meal occasions.