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Competition Intensifies In Pizza Segment

Two new reports released by Technomic Inc. last week detail how, even in a market of sluggish or no growth, opportunities within segments exist.

The “2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report” discusses the growth and growing competition in the restaurant pizza segment, compiling responses from 1,600 consumers as well as the Chicago-based research firm’s Ignite database. Sales in the limited-service pizza segment, which includes fast-casual concepts, grew 3.7% in 2017, and the number of units increased by nearly 1%, the report says.

Among the findings in the report: 44% of consumers, up from 40% in 2016, choose pizza operators based on the quality of their crust; 43% of those aged 18 to 34 and 28% of all consumers are more interested in pizza with unique toppings and ingredients than they were two years ago; half of those surveyed want pizza restaurants to offer more authentic pizzas.

“Increased demand for quality and authenticity is influencing consumers to become increasingly discerning about each component on their pizzas,” writes Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “As consumers’ expectations rise and competition increases, pizza operators will be driven into niche, specialized areas such as Roman-style, Detroit-style, and even convenience-focused offerings.”

A second report from Technomic, “2018 Canadian Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report,” notes that Canadians are snacking “slightly” more now than in 2016 but that the five-year trend is clearly for increased occasions. Based on responses from 1,000 consumers, 55% say they snack between meals at least twice a day. Stress, boredom and mindless eating play a role, though convenience, time constraints and fighting off hunger are the key drivers of snacking occasion. And in a nod to the dominance of Tim Horton’s in Canadian society, 66% of consumers say they purchase snacks from coffee cafes at least once every 90 days.

Both reports and information on Technomic’s extensive foodservice market research products can be accessed at Technomic.   

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