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Pizza in Retail - where next?

Pizza, like other meal categories in retail has benefitted from consumers cutting back on out-of-home meals. How can this growth be sustained once the economic conditions improve?

The economic outlook is tough – this won’t come as a surprise for anyone.  But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens, and Pizza has been a beneficiary of this as shoppers shift their spend from restaurants and takeaways into food at home.  The latest Levercliff Tracking Survey shines a light onto this, with 72 % of consumers worried about the ongoing rise in food and drink prices and 27% either making or buying something to eat at home rather than going out for a meal.

Two areas demonstrate this trend perfectly within the Pizza category.  The first is the growth of the premium tier, with ingredients becoming more exotic and provenance being key as both retailers and brands try to tempt shoppers away from pizza restaurants.  The second is the rise of the “Takeaway at Home” trend across almost all UK retailers, with ranges of takeaway-style pizzas, garlic breads, sides and dips are now presenting a really credible alternative to the big players in the traditional Pizza Delivery space at a substantial saving to the hard-pressed shoppers.

How to continue this growth is an interesting challenge, and here at Levercliff we think the opportunity lies in opening up a new occasion for Pizza in retail – Lunchtime.  As hybrid working patterns have become the norm for many, and with different options for some mid-day sustenance being sought by those bored of a cheese and ham sandwich, especially as the colder months draw closer, a pizza-style offering for lunchtime could present a tasty, interesting, fulfilling and warming option for those stolen minutes away from screens for lunch at home.  

But it’s probably not the pizzas we see in the shelves today that will be tasked with delivering against this promise.  Thinner bases, lighter toppings and a faster cook time will be key, and health will start to play a role here as well – lower calorie and higher protein being a great combination to stave off both guilt and the dreaded 3pm slump.  It’s already happening in Takeaway circles – the Papa John’s Papadia is a great example of how Pizza can stretch into lunchtime, but as yet there is nothing in the Retail space that delivers against this opportunity.  So watch this space….

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Photo by Shourav Sheikh on Unsplash

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