March of 2020 ushered in a new way of interacting with, well, everything and everyone. Combatting the coronavirus (COVID-19) on a global scale required strict enforcement of pandemic-related regulations.
In the United States, stay-at-home mandates and sporadic supply chains changed people’s relationships with food — especially with favorites like pizza. Along with fresh pizzeria and delivery offerings, Americans opted for more frozen pizza. The first month of the pandemic alone saw a 92% increase in year-over-year sales1, setting the frozen pizza industry on a trajectory most experts believed wasn’t sustainable.
Yet, nearly two years later, frozen pizza trends suggest no significant dropoff in sales or demand. Let’s take a look at what the continued popularity of frozen pizza could mean for grocers and c-stores.
A Hot Take on The Frozen Pizza Industry
The frozen pizza market is expected to nearly double over the next 10 years — from $18.3 billion to $32.9 billion by 2031.2 Pandemic-related need is no longer predominantly fueling sales, so what’s contributing to the projected growth? Frozen pizza industry experts point to three key drivers2:
- Premiumization: Innovative, on-trend offerings using high-quality ingredients
- Convenience: Consistent availability and longer storage duration vs. fresh pizza
- Price: Offerings can span several price points, making frozen pizza consumption affordable on all budgets
The consistent theme behind continued frozen pizza consumption is value. Pizza lovers have already demonstrated their willingness to buy frozen pizza and pay more for premium pies. Grocers and c-store operators have a golden opportunity to remain predominant and profitable in the market provided they pay attention to quality.
Something to Chew On
Frozen pizza consumption is no longer considered a default to “real pizza.” Pizza lovers are placing the same — if not higher — quality expectations on frozen pies.
Customers are educated and opinionated about the types of food they choose to eat. They won’t settle for commodity versus premium ingredients and toppings, and they surely won’t accept less-than-the-best pizza crusts.
Crusts are the deciding factor in “good” or “bad” pizza for more than 60% of customers.3 A pie’s foundation must tick the boxes for taste, texture, and integrity or it’s simply a no-go — and a no sale.
For frozen pizza, meeting these expectations can be tricky. Preparation, wrapping, freezing, and handling can compromise crusts unless you work with a pizza dough and crust expert to find solutions.
Alive & Kickin’ Par-Baked Crusts for Frozen Pizza
Alive & Kickin’ par-baked pizza crusts are the solution for grocers and c-store operators seeking frozen pie success.
The “baked bread” properties mean par-baked crusts stand up to toppings, prep, freezing, and final baking without fail. Adding to the popularity of frozen pizza consumption is our wide range of thicknesses and flavor profiles for “something extra” appeal, including:
- Premium quality custom recipes
- Raised-edge crusts in both par-bakes and live dough
- Hand-tossed style and wood-fired selections
- Flaky, ultra-thin crusts
- Specialty formulations
As customer preferences transition from need to choice, the growth of the frozen pizza industry shows no signs of slowing. Grocery stores and c-stores stand to gain considerable ground in the market provided the right dough products and partners are chosen. Download Par-Baked Pizza Crusts: 4 Key Benefits for C-Stores to learn more about how we can help you turn up the heat on frozen pizza sales. Click the button below to get started.
1Cleveland.com, Frozen pizza sales soar: Ranking the best pies to grab from grocer’s freezer case, April 21, 2020
2Future Market Insights, Frozen Pizza Market Snapshot, July 5, 2021
3Pizza Need, Types of Pizza Crusts: Understanding the Many Different Varieties, Undated