A Wholesome Take on Pizza Innovation

The pizza industry has long been a saturated market in the United States, and for good reason. According to Technomic’s 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report, 43% of Americans consume pizza on a weekly basis, driven in part by the demand for convenience foods. In a market full of choices, there are still opportunities for operators who are willing to put a little creativity and ingenuity into claiming their slice of the pizza pie.

While Americans love their pizza, at least 25% said they would eat pizza more often if healthier options were available. With nearly half of consumers (49%) reporting they adhere to a restricted diet or nutrition plan – either as part of a healthy lifestyle or to address specific concerns – there are opportunities for pizza brands to stand out if they can find an intersection with current health and wellness trends.

Fresher, higher quality toppings are a natural and easy choice to bring a more wholesome twist to pizzas, but, as the growing alternative crust market shows, consumers are ready for more creative bases to build their pizzas on.

FUNCTIONAL & NUTRITION-PACKED CRUSTS

Because of their convenience and the popularity of specialty or restricted diets – such as plant-based, vegan, and keto – functional foods are a growing market segment. Bringing functional attributes to a category without a major foothold, like pizza, not only delivers on current market demands and diet trends; it also puts brands at the forefront of the growing demand for convenient nutrition.

Whether blending protein and fiber with alternative flours or trendy vegetable-based crusts, functional ingredients can lend pizza a baked-in health halo that appeals to consumers looking for convenient ways to meet their dietary goals as well as consumers seeking better choices.

Alternative crusts aren’t without their challenges, though, and pizza makers must often turn to dough conditioners. Natural enzyme solutions like STAR-ZYME™ and Encore Plus™ can displace non-clean-label dough conditioners such as L-cysteine and help foodservice operators serve a cleaner-label pie while giving consumers the sensory experience they expect.

NATURAL & ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

Today’s consumers are seeking claims and certifications that show what is not in the foods they eat as much as what is in them. However, a 2017 Nielsen study showed that only 12% of pizzas fall under the clean label umbrella, presenting significant opportunities for differentiation in the market.

Lesaffre’s portfolio of dough conditioning systems includes a variety of organic options – such as Red Star® yeasts, Livendo® sours, and Encore™ dough conditioners – that improve the quality and sensory experience of finished products while supporting clean, on-demand certifications for health-conscious consumers.

Whether you’re looking for a surprising twist on a classic or crafting something new and exciting, bringing fresh and wholesome ingredients to your pizza is an innovation that is in demand. From functional to natural and organic, there are several crust ingredients worth exploring to help make your pizza stand out from the crowd.

Contact us to learn more about how Lesaffre products can help you deliver exciting, on-trend pizza products, and read our organic dough improvement application bulletin to discover more opportunities.

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