Today's pizza market is as competitive as it's ever been — not only in the battle between area pizza joints, but also with the ease and higher quality of frozen, bake-at-home pies. According to industry research, the global frozen pizza market reached $15.5 billion last year and is projected to grow to $22.6 billion in the next five years.
Fortunately, by utilizing a balance of tried-and-true marketing tools as well as contemporary ingenuity, you can continue to entice a hungry public to walk through your door instead of staying home or dining down the street.
Before even getting to the juicy marketing stuff, it’s important to be sure your product is indeed what today's consumers are craving. With pizza especially, it's essential to maintain a solid offering of traditional styles and toppings, so go ahead and perfect that Pizza Margherita, continue to source the best sausage and pepperoni available. These traditional styles will never go out of season, and there will always be die-hard purists who are actively seeking the classics. Just keep monitoring your toppings to ensure they are of the highest quality to win these folks over.
Trends and general shifts in the public's diet are significant to pay attention to. Don't dismiss everything as a passing fad. In 2022 and beyond, it will remain imperative to offer gluten-free options, such as cauliflower crust. Making vegan options a mainstay on your menu is also key; there are reports that vegan pizza surged nearly 200% on menus in the last three years, while other reports indicate that dairy-free pizza had its best year ever in 2021: rising in popularity by an astounding 333%.
Other trends to consider this fall are "Blonde pizzas", tomato-less pies with a creamy white sauce; as well as Vietnamese, Mexican, and Thai flavor profiles. Allow these trends to coexist with tradition, and your menu will have folks flocking.
Hone in on the Holidays
Fall brings a few favorite holidays that can be fun to play with, especially when it comes to food. Depending on how creative you want to get and how adventurous your client base is, you could take advantage of some fun Halloween opportunities. Perhaps offer a pizza-by-the-slice buffet with a few ghoulish-looking pies alongside more traditional options. Appeal to kids young and old by using ingredients like pearl onions for "eyeballs" or serve a "Trick-or-Treat" dessert pizza with vanilla frosting and a classic candy topping.
Early November's Day of the Dead offers opportunities for spicy, colorful Mexican toppings such as chorizo or even edible flowers, while the Friday after Thanksgiving is a perfect chance to top a pizza with turkey and cranberries — or even mashed potatoes! — and put it on special to capture that crowd who doesn't want to cook anymore or is too busy shopping for the day's deals.
Go Big for Game Day
The jam-packed sports season brings tons of opportunities to get groups in your seats for hours for apps and beverages alongside their 'za instead of simply ordering one to take home. Get creative with exciting specials that get people to stay for the whole game, like offering a percentage off their bill based on the score at the end of the half, for example. Or do small giveaways of your choosing every time the home team scores a touchdown.
You can even ensure that your establishment becomes the local favorite by taking care of your local sports teams. Offer a deal for high school players and their families on Friday nights. How about a free pitcher with a pizza for anyone wearing college colors on game day Saturdays? Possibilities are endless, but these kinds of specials engage your customers in a fun way, getting them to stay longer and spend even more money with you. Sounds like a win for everyone!