Having arrived in 2022, there are some pizza market trends that you should be aware of. With increasing pizza options for different dietary requirements and using ethnic flavours, the pizza market is steadily changing. According to market analysis by Innova,  it’s clear that pizzas are adapting to new tastes and flavours, so we’re providing a roundup of the latest trends to help you transform your offering.

Pizza demand is steadily growing due to the availability of more options

With a variety of pizza offerings available, consumers are increasingly buying more pizza. In fact, globally in 2020, 5.7% of products launched in the ready meals and side dishes category were pizzas and compared to 2021, this increased to 6.3%, meaning there is an increasing supply of pizzas in the market today. 

This increase is in part driven by exclusive editions being offered to consumers such as Halloween and Olympic-themed pizzas, along with premium sized versions. Consumers are also embracing homemade, artisan pizzas such as handcrafted pizzas made by  DawgHouse Pizza Co., baked in a woodfired oven. Festive launches, free-from selections and unique flavours including pizza shawarma and truffle cream pizzas are also providing more options and variety for consumers. These development areas are propelling pizza NPD and provide an opportunity for producers to appeal to today’s consumers.

For Europe, the top region for pizza sales value and NPD activity, burgeoning demand for ready-to-eat snacks at home, curry-inspired tastes, the influx of ethnic preparations (Japanese Katsu, Mexican fajita), hemp-infused offerings, and stonebaked choices are adding to sales value growth. 100% organic options, limited edition offerings, pizza crafted with multi-grain dough, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes, antioxidant-enriched blends, herbaceous selections, and choices infused with seaweed are fueling the NPD across Europe.

For the Middle East/North Africa region, they recorded the highest growth at a CAGR of 63.3% in terms of pizza NPD from 2019 to 2021F, as it is growing from a low base value.

Increase in plant-based options

While there are many vegetarian options available on the market, there is an increase in vegan pizza offerings as vegan diets continue to become more popular. Traditional-style pizzas with vegan bases made with cauliflower are becoming increasingly common. The use of vegan toppings, such as plant-based meat alternatives and vegan cheeses are also used. 

A pizza supplier that does vegan pizzas well is UK-based Purezza, which have won multiple awards at World Pizza Championships. One of their offerings includes a vegan pizza with pea protein tuna marinated in garlic, with their own smoked mozzarella, yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, parsley and smoked paprika.

Clearer claims about ingredients in pizzas

Becoming clearer about what is in pizzas is becoming more important to consumers. Pizzas that claim they are vegetarian saw the biggest increase from 9% of pizzas in 2020 to 14% in 2021, which is the most popular claim. 

The second most popular claim is no additives or preservatives, appearing in 11% of pizza launches in 2021. Other notable positioning increases in popularity within Europe include vegan, gluten-free, indulgent and premium, organic, lactose-free, GMO-free, plant-based, palm oil-free, high/source of fibre and protein, and natural. Although traditional claims have decreased in Europe, these remain popular across developing regions such as Latin America and Middle East-North Africa.

While gluten-free shows a flat trend for gluten-free claims, a pizza report by Technomic found that 23% of consumers are interested in gluten-free pizza options, with an additional 27% interested in low-carb pizza varieties.

With consumers focused on healthier and clean diets, it’s no surprise that vegetarian, no additives or preservatives and source of protein claims have increased. With your pizzas, include claims that help consumers understand the ingredients of the pizza better so it can match their dietary requirements and lifestyle. 

Using more ethnic flavours in pizzas

Another key trend to be aware of is the broadening of flavours and textures that include ethnic recipes. These include Greek gyros toppings, Indian tikka masala, Japanese katsu, Mexican fajita and Korean bulgogi. Consumers can taste pizzas with familiar flavours from their favourite cuisines.  

By using flavours from different cuisines, Unholy Pizza is not afraid to experiment with different ingredients in their pizzas. One of their experiments includes a shredded duck and mozzarella pizza topped with hoisin sauce, red chillies, spring onions, cucumber and hot honey.

Crust is a must

For pizza producers, offering a quality crust allows the rest of the pizza to shine and an opportunity to convey authenticity, as well as health and flavour innovations. 

Alternative flour choices such as rye, the use of ancient grains, oats and more, open up a new world of pizza dough innovation, bringing new texture possibilities to support the drive for healthier crusts including vegan and whole grain. In fact, research by Technomic found that 28% of consumers strongly agree that they would eat pizza more often if there were healthier options available. Spelt, quinoa and chickpea flour can also bring more nutrition and texture to your next pizza NPD, thanks to their nutrient-dense and high protein advantages. 

At Bakels, our Country Oven range of bread concentrates provide pizza base/crust solutions too. As well as providing exceptional ingredients for nutritionally-boosted bread and rolls, the ingredients manifest well in pizza base applications too. Multiseed, Oat & Barley and Rye pizza base recipes are all good examples of how versatile the concentrates are, with advantages in both taste and healthier pizza perception. Experimentation didn’t stop there, we even crafted a pizza from Premium Scone Mix, inspired by the trend for hybrid baked goods.

What about pizza toppings?

While there is an abundance of new pizza flavours, consumers are shown to stick to traditional toppings. Here are some of the popular toppings you can include and experiment with in your pizzas. 

Despite having the biggest decrease out of all the toppings, mozzarella cheese still remains the most popular topping ingredient with 18% of pizza launches having mozzarella cheese in 2020 to 14% in 2021.

In 2021, 13% of pizza launches had cheese as a topping, which is an increase from 11% in the previous year. Out of the top 5 toppings, cheese is the only topping that saw the biggest increase from the previous year.

Pizzas that were launched with ham remained the same with 8% in 2020 and 2021. Falling in supply, mushroom topped pizzas were included in 5% of pizza launches in 2021 compared to 6% in 2020. Red tomato topped pizzas fell with 6% of pizza launches in 2020 to 4% in 2021. 

Other flavours growing in popularity in 2021 that you can use in your pizzas include salami, vegetables, prosciutto, spinach, sausage, barbecue, onion, beef and tuna. 

Multi-bacon pizzas are also becoming more popular with consumers. Artisan pizza producer Rollin Pizzas offers a handmade pizza with a smoked bacon and cheddar cheese sauce, topped with pulled pork, crispy bacon, pigs in blankets and mozzarella, finished with a drizzle of maple syrup and bacon frazzle crisps.

While toppings provide visual appeal to the centre of the pizza, let’s not forget opportunity with the crust. The popular tiger bread topping is an interesting finish to pizza crusts too, delivering visual appeal and a tasty eating experience.

Looking for a new partner to help you create in-demand pizzas?

With opportunities in the market today for premium pizza innovations, Bakels are well-positioned to help you deliver the very best for your customers. 

Our range of pizza ingredients are extensive. Take Fermdor® Relax for instance, a concentrated dough relaxer consisting of totally natural deactivated yeast which acts as a reducing agent on the gluten network and is ideal for pizza production and other speciality bread products.

A vast array of Fermdor® dried sourdoughs provide pizza producers with endless opportunities to create signature pizza bases with unique flavours. Typically added into the dough at between 2-8% on flour weight, the variety of wheat, rye and spelt-based options provide convenience for producers and superb taste advantages for consumers.

The Bakels team works alongside pizza producers every day, both integrating some of these ingredients mentioned above into their process, and also on bespoke developments to deliver truly unique pizza products. Contact us to begin your next pizza NPD.