There’s no stopping the world’s favourite food

16.08.18

So, how do you get to be the No. 1 most popular food across the globe? Well, first and most important, you need to have universal appeal.

Enter…pizza!

In the late 19th century, one of Italy’s simplest but most versatile staple foods, ventured across the Atlantic to conquer the New World. And it has never looked back.

Embraced wholeheartedly by America’s appetite for easily accessible sustenance, the humble pizza has risen to a lofty and unchallenged position as the nation’s No 1 comfort food. And, make no mistake…’comfort’ is definitely the name of the game. Evidence suggests that when the going gets tough, pizza gets going, with a proven connection between a rise in pizza sales when there’s a fall in a nation’s mood.

As for why it’s the ‘go-to’ food on so many different levels, accessibility would seem to be the key. For starters, try thinking where you can’t find pizza! Then, consider how quick and easy it is to deliver a tempting meal solution. Then factor in cost, with options to choose everything from a single slice to something the size of a dustbin lid.

Hardly surprising then, that the value of the world pizza market is now approaching a staggering $130 billiion, with one in ten Americans thought to eat pizza…every day!

Coming closer to home

On this side of the Atlantic, things are no less rosy. Our domestic market is racing towards a value of £3.3 billion, with Brits boasting the highest consumption of pizza per capita of any country in the world.

So, how does pizza manages to maintain this incredible momentum? It simply moves with the times.

Forget the old concept of a heavy dough base, topped with tomato, cheese, mushrooms and ham. Today’s pizza is whatever you want it to be…a creative platform for the imagination with toppings that range from vegan, to vegetarian, to a blow-out meat feast. From the positively healthy to the outrageously indulgent. From a cross-over special like hoi-sin duck, to a base topped with Sunday lunch!

And, on the subject of bases, let’s not forget the growing popularity of authentic crusts including flatbread, Neapolitan, focaccia and stuffed or flavoured crusts.

And last, but definitely not least

Finally, there’s one vital ingredient that stars in almost every pizza ever made…cheese! Not just Mozzarella, but Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Manchego, cheese ropes…in fact a whole host of delicious varieties that melt perfectly to help create pizza’s ‘comforting’ appeal.

So there you have it. To become the world’s favourite food, take a dish that never stops reinventing itself. Add accessibility. Introduce the growth of casual dining chains. Include a boom in online ordering. And roll in the explosion of home delivery options.

Easy…when you know how!

This article first appeared in Pizza & Pasta Magazine, August 2018

Ornua Ingredients UK produces a regular Food Trends Update. For your free subscription, email richard.thorpe@ornua.com