Description

“Pizza restaurants are an indisputable bright spot amid a struggling restaurant industry as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Many leading pizza chains have managed to grow sales into the double-digits in 2020 due to their continued investments in takeout and delivery and prioritization of value. Pizza restaurants are positioned for sustained success during the recession and recovery because of their affordable nature and consumers’ inability to make pizza at home that’s as high-quality or convenient.”

– Jill Failla, Senior Foodservice Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the pizza restaurant industry.
  • The recessionary impact on pizza restaurant sales.
  • How off-premise innovations are helping pizza restaurants thrive during the pandemic.
  • How pizza restaurants can appeal to consumers’ desire for menu innovation.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: US restaurant industry context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on pizza restaurants is largely positive
                    • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the foodservice industry and pizza restaurants, September 2020
                  • Challenges and Opportunities
                    • Dine-in-focused pizza restaurants struggle along with rest of foodservice industry
                      • Figure 2: Indoor dining comfort level, August 27- September 8, 2020
                    • Young consumers drive retail pizza competition
                      • Figure 3: Pizza restaurant visitation, by generation, June 2020
                    • Consumers prefer pizza during the pandemic
                      • Americans also crave pizza menu innovation
                        • Figure 6: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by generation, June 2020
                      • Pizza delivery can struggle in a recession
                        • Figure 4: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by household income, June 2020
                      • Pizza is also a preferred choice during recessions
                        • Figure 5: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by household income, June 2020
                      • Young consumers drive interest in AI pizza innovation
                        • Figure 7: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by generation, June 2020
                    • The Market – Key Takeaways

                      • Pizza restaurants are not recession-proof, but they’re close
                        • Dine-in pizza restaurants must focus on off-premise innovation
                          • Capture consumers’ interest with innovative pizza flours
                          • Impact of COVID-19 on Pizza Restaurants

                            • Impact of COVID-19 on pizza restaurants is largely positive
                              • Figure 8: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the foodservice industry and pizza restaurants, September 2020
                            • COVID-19: US context
                            • Market Factors

                              • Pizza sales slumped only briefly during Great Recession
                                • Figure 9: Total US pizza restaurant sales, at current prices, 2007-14
                              • Dine-in pizza hurt as consumers look to minimize COVID-19 risk
                                • Figure 10: Indoor dining comfort level, August 27, 2020-September 8, 2020
                              • Frozen pizza sales boom during pandemic
                                • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen pizza, at current prices, 2015-25
                              • Pizza restaurant ordering systems must be ADA compliant
                                • Third-party delivery regulation will benefit pizza operators
                                  • Pepperoni prices rise for operators
                                  • Market Opportunities

                                    • The pandemic raises robotic relevance
                                      • Mobile kitchens as next-generation food trucks
                                        • Consumers are now flour experts, and pizza restaurants should pay heed
                                          • Pinsa pizza
                                            • Sourdough pizza
                                              • Sicilian pizza
                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                • Pandemic revives struggling fast food pizza chains
                                                  • Everyone is taking a piece of the pie, much to pizza restaurants’ dismay
                                                    • Chicken is a highly relevant pizza restaurant offering in 2020 and beyond
                                                    • Pizza Restaurant Sales

                                                      • Pizza’s growth is slower than rest of Top 200 restaurant industry in 2019
                                                          • Figure 12: top 10 pizza chain sales, 2018-19*
                                                        • Pandemic gives needed sales boost to top fast food pizza players
                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                          • Off-premise innovation helps pizza restaurants thrive during crisis
                                                            • Automated pizza pickup cubbies
                                                              • Contactless delivery and curbside pickup
                                                                • Ghost restaurants deliver
                                                                  • Everyone is a pizza restaurant
                                                                    • Plant-based pizzas continue to liven up menus
                                                                      • Pizza chains haven’t forgotten about chicken
                                                                      • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                        • Sit-down pizza restaurants suffer during pandemic
                                                                          • Quality is most important value trait, but budgeting will play larger role as recession continues
                                                                            • Young consumers crave pizza innovation on the menu
                                                                            • Pizza Restaurant Visitation

                                                                              • Sit-down pizza chains lost the most business due to COVID-19
                                                                                • Figure 13: Pizza restaurant visitation year over year, September 2019-June 2020
                                                                              • Men drive restaurant pizza consumption
                                                                                • Figure 14: Pizza restaurant visitation, by gender, June 2020
                                                                              • Most Gen X and younger consumers eat fast food chain pizza
                                                                                • Figure 15: Pizza restaurant visitation, by generation, June 2020
                                                                              • Hispanic consumers drive consumption of retailer prepared pizza
                                                                                • Figure 16: Pizza restaurant visitation, by race and Hispanic origin, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Purchasing Decision

                                                                              • Quality is the leading pizza purchasing motivator
                                                                                • Figure 17: Pizza purchasing decision – NET any rank, June 2020
                                                                              • Younger consumers prioritize delivery speed and online ordering capability
                                                                                • Figure 18: Pizza purchasing decision – NET any rank, by generation, June 2020
                                                                              • Black consumers care the most about pizza topping options
                                                                                • Figure 19: Pizza purchasing decision – NET any rank, by race and Hispanic origin, June 2020
                                                                              • Lowest-income consumers consider non-pizza menu items when choosing a pizza restaurant
                                                                                • Figure 20: Pizza purchasing decision – NET any rank, by household income, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Value Definition

                                                                              • Quality is most top of mind to the pizza value proposition
                                                                                • Figure 21: Pizza value definition – NET any rank, June 2020
                                                                              • Customizability is an expectation for young consumers
                                                                                • Figure 22: Pizza value definition – NET any rank, by generation, June 2020
                                                                              • Family meal deals are vital during recession
                                                                                • Figure 23: Pizza value definition – NET any rank, by income, June 2020
                                                                              • Moms associate friendly service with a good value
                                                                                • Figure 24: Pizza value definition – NET any rank, by parental status, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Sauce

                                                                              • Consumers are interested in garlic sauces covering the entire pizza
                                                                                • Figure 25: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Pizza sauce innovation, June 2020
                                                                              • Restaurant pizza customers express huge interest in pizza sauce drizzles and dips
                                                                                • Figure 26: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce, June 2020
                                                                              • 18-34 year olds drive demand for pizza sauce drizzles
                                                                                • Figure 27: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce, by age, June 2020
                                                                              • Most restaurant pizza consumers prefer garlic butter or garlic sauces on or with their pizza
                                                                                • Figure 28: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce application, June 2020
                                                                              • Men prefer a variety of sauce options for pizza
                                                                                • Figure 29: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce application, by gender, June 2020
                                                                              • Millennials drive demand for garlic butter and ranch dressing with pizza
                                                                                • Figure 30: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce application, by generation, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Crust

                                                                              • Hand-tossed thin crust is slightly preferred to thin and crispy pizza crust
                                                                                • Figure 31: Pizza crust, June 2020
                                                                              • Young consumers drive demand for stuffed, seasoned and veggie crusts
                                                                                • Figure 32: Pizza crust, by age, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Toppings

                                                                              • Cheddar cheese remains a top-preferred non-Italian pizza cheese
                                                                                • Figure 33: Pizza cheese, June 2020
                                                                              • Young consumers will help make burrata a popular pizza topping
                                                                                • Figure 34: Pizza cheese, by age, June 2020
                                                                              • Most consumers enjoy mushrooms and onions on pizza
                                                                                • Figure 35: Pizza toppings – fruits and vegetables, June 2020
                                                                              • Young consumers want operators to turn the heat up on pizzas
                                                                                • Figure 36: Pizza toppings – vegetables, by age, June 2020
                                                                              • Pork reigns supreme as pizza protein preference
                                                                                • Figure 37: Pizza proteins, June 2020
                                                                              • Women are less likely than men to want protein toppings on pizza
                                                                                • Figure 38: Pizza proteins, by gender, June 2020
                                                                              • Young consumers want to see fried chicken on pizza
                                                                                • Figure 39: Pizza proteins, by age, June 2020
                                                                            • Pizza Restaurant Attitudes

                                                                              • Pizza will continue to sell well in the recession
                                                                                • Figure 40: Pizza restaurant attitudes, Part I, June 2020
                                                                                • Figure 41: Pizza restaurant attitudes, Part II, June 2020
                                                                              • Young consumers want to enjoy fun new pizza options
                                                                                • Figure 42: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by generation, June 2020
                                                                              • Many consumers earning under $75K a year would cut back on pizza delivery in a recession
                                                                                • Figure 43: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by Household income, June 2020
                                                                              • Fathers overwhelmingly prefer pizza to other foods during the pandemic
                                                                                • Figure 44: Papa John’s email, “A Papa John’s Father’s Day Special Awaits You Inside!,” June 14, 2020
                                                                                • Figure 45: Pizza restaurant attitudes, by parental status, June 2020
                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                                  • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                            • Figure 46: Pizza purchasing decision, by pizza restaurant visitation, June 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Pizza restaurant visitation, by household income, June 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Pizza sauce interest – NET any sauce, by race and Hispanic origin, June 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Restaurant value definition, any rank, among Gen Z teens and adults, February 2020; May 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Restaurant value definition, any rank, by generation, May 2020
                                                                                          • Correspondence Analysis Methodology
                                                                                              • Figure 51: Pizza sauce interest, June 2020

                                                                                          About the report

                                                                                          This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                                                                                          Market

                                                                                          Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                                                                                          Consumer

                                                                                          Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                                                          Brand/Company

                                                                                          Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                                                          Data

                                                                                          Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                          Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                                          Click to show report

                                                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                                                          Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                                          Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                          Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                                                          Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                          Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                          Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                          Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                                                          Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                                          Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                                                          Contact Us