Nearly four years after the economic downturn, many Americans are still keeping a tight rein on their expenditures, monitoring how much they spend on essentials, including groceries, and nonessentials, such as eating out. Not surprisingly, many food manufacturers and restaurants have been impacted by this new-found consumer frugality, prompting the former to trim unprofitable items from their product lines and the latter to add more specials to their menus.
For pizza purveyors, however, these tough times have been a birdie. According to Chicago-based Technomic Inc., a fact-based consulting and research firm serving the food industry, 41% of the consumers who participated in its recently released Pizza Consumer Trend Report said they eat pizza once a week, compared to 26% two years ago. Factors such as innovative specialty pizzas, gourmet ingredients,
new non-pizza menu items, special offers and coupons have helped drive traffic
to both full-service and limited- service pizza restaurants.