New insights and research from Food Genius focusing on the pizza landscape in the U.S. indicates that pizza is one of the most common dishes found in restaurants and is featured on 40% of all menus. Its prevalence has been identified in “Slicing the Pie: Pizza Menu Trends and Insights,” the latest industry research conducted by Food Genius. According to the latest insights derived from the reports, the appeal of pizza continues to stay strong, with the growth of nontraditional sauces such as barbecue sauce and toppings such as shrimp. Menu inclusions of gluten-free pizzas and flatbreads reflect diners’ need for customization and variety.

"We’ve noticed in the last few quarters of data that pizzas have gotten simpler, with restaurants putting more emphasis on fresh ingredients and new preparation methods,” says Food Genius co-founder Benjamin Stanley. “We've seen examples of this in our data with the rise of Margherita pizzas, as well as with the rising popularity of fast casual pizza chains like Pie Five Pizza Co. and Blaze Pizza.”

Key findings include the fact that gluten-free pizza appears on 38% of menus that offer gluten-free items. Pizza is the leading gluten-free dish, after salad, across all menus and all meal parts. And, there has been a 1% increase in the number of chain menus that include Margherita pizza, between second and fourth quarters of 2013.

Among chain and independent operators that offer pizza, tomato and barbeque are the leading pizza sauces, at 24% and 22%, respectively. More information is available from Eli Rosenberg, or at 312-229-0168. Ongoing insights from the Food Genius team are published on its blog,