DIGIORNO recently conducted a social experiment using facial recognition and emotion-tracking software to measure which pizza makes for happier gatherings: fresh-baked from the oven or delivery.

The result? At pizza parties that baked up a DIGIORNO pizza in the oven, joy increased by an average of 27 percent. In comparison, at parties that ordered delivery, joy decreased by an average of 20 percent.

Other findings included:

  • When delivery pizza was ordered by phone or online, it made partygoers 24 percent less joyful 
  • Baking up a DIGIORNO pizza increased joy across gatherings, as partygoers were 17 percent happier when the smell of pizza filled the room and the oven timer rang. The arrival of delivery pizza at the door couldn’t compete as average joy increased only 2 percent
  • Serving DIGIORNO pizza straight from the oven made our partygoers happier than delivery pizza served straight from a box. In fact, pizza being delivered caused a 28 percent decrease in joy.

"Our belief has always been that fresh-baked pizza helps people get more out of their occasions," said Jeff Hamilton, president, Nestlé Foods Division, Nestlé USA. "This experiment was yet another chance for us to see how and why our pizza has that positive effect, especially at those same times when delivery might not."

These findings definitely surprised me, but when you read more about how they were determined, they start to make more sense.

For example: think about the steps you go through when ordering pizza delivery. You either have to call the pizza place or order online. If you call, sometimes you're put on hold. The people in the video (see below) stated that the online ordering process was "confusing," which personally I've never really found, though sometimes I've had issues using promo codes or discounts. 

In the video, when the DIGIORNO pizza was baking, the aroma of pizza started to fill the house, and when the pizza was done, the aroma smelled delicious. In comparison, at the other party, they were still waiting for their pizza, so there was no intoxicating pizza smell at their house as of yet. 

On DIGIORNO's website, there is more information on how joy was measured, too.


Phase I: Why Does Pizza Make Us Happy?

In 2017, DIGIORNO measured the effect of fresh-baked pizza at three separate pizza parties. While most would think it’s the first delicious bite that elevates our mood most, the parties we studied were actually happiest when pizza was baking in the oven and its aroma filled the room.

All measurements of joy during Phase I are compared to five minutes after the beginning of each party, which was used as the baseline for testing. Joy was averaged on a per-minute basis (by participants experiencing joy only) and subtracted from the initial joy felt upon arrival at the party.


Phase II: DIGIORNO vs. Delivery

Months later, DIGIORNO used the learnings from Phase I and set out to determine which pizza makes for happier gatherings – delivery or fresh-baked from the oven? The brand observed more joy when pizza was baking in the oven during parties than those with carryout or delivery pizza.

During this phase, joy was measured across gatherings as an average of emotion experienced before and after key pizza moments such as placing an order, arrival of delivery and the aroma of pizza filling the room.

Regardless of how joy was measured, this is definitely an interesting study, and makes you think more about ordering pizza delivery vs. cooking DIGIORNO or another pizza brand in the oven instead.

For more information on the findings, visit DIGIORNO.com/powerofpizza or check out youtube.com/digiorno.


Are you a delivery person, or do you prefer bake-at-home pizzas?