…I AM JOKING! this is about Pizza Topping trends and how to cash in on them
There’s a Pizza meme going around of the brutal scene in Casino where Joe Pesci is forced to watch his brother get whacked. However, instead of his brother, it’s pineapple going on Pizza. The point of the meme is to show how traumatic it is to any true Italian Pizza aficionado to see pineapple “ruin” a Pizza. It made me laugh when I saw it because I relate a lot to that! Still, I am generally very open to experiment with new flavours on food…
Now if you’re reading this article, you are probably in the Hospitality industry and know that pineapple on Pizza is something that a broad base of customers want and enjoy.
Whether you agree with the worthiness of pineapple to be a real topping, it doesn’t matter. If you push that your Pizza offer has ZERO PINEAPPLE TOLERANCE, there is marketability to that purist approach. That means if you’re not going to carry anything Avant-Garde, you should say that. Otherwise it’s just a wasted opportunity.
Restaurants that can avoid all eclectic toppings are restaurants built on being classic Pizzerias in every sense of the word. And while there’s a nostalgia about that style of restaurant, it is by definition stagnant. Unless you’re rolling deep in cash, that style of restaurant is not your most profitable pursuit. Advancing the game with new and exciting styles of Pizza that give your customers something new to enjoy for the more adventurous palate (along with the classics) is a prudent financial choice.
Pineapple is not a new industry trend that will break down culinary barriers…
In the last 20 years, there have been many growth spurts of popular styles or items that have come to fruition.
The new trends are often taking things that are “standard” in other culinary fare and normalizing them to Pizza.
Here are some alternative choices of up and coming toppings, “Italian influenced”, and not…
Pickled anything really. Sliced pickles, the classic cucumber version, or more interesting pickled vegetables are on the rise. They provide an extremely tart taste that is counterbalanced by a base cheese and accented best by the salty flavour of a cured meat like prosciutto or pancetta. At the same time, you could do it super basic and keep it with bacon instead.
Gourmet Cured Meats
Salami and Bacon are fine meats, but they don’t provide a call to action. The goal is to wow the customer.
Soppressata and ‘Nduja are different versions of fine cured meats, give your Pizza a flair along with a sense of tradition that basic deli cuts won’t do.
Speck (smoked ham from northern Italy) “takes” prosciutto and turns it into something even more refined.
The benefit of having these more varied styles of meats goes beyond more topping options. This also allows you to have a great charcuterie board as a high-profit appetizer to additionally add to your menu mix.
Even pepperoni, which is a standard topping for most restaurants, can be achieved differently with a thick-cut cup-and-char that’s cut in house. It provides a more interesting texture than a classic pepperoni, and any restaurants can do this. Even the ones that are never going to put pickles on a Pizza.
Honey and the Sweetness
I’ve attended many different Pizza competitions, and I’ve noticed a trend in the last few years, towards an abundance of spicy Pizzas. I’ve seen the different spice levels and use various sources beyond cayenne, and overall just a lot spicier Pizzas than there were 15 years ago. I don’t believe that spicy is dying off as much as I believe sweet accents such as honey are on the rise. Honey, agave, natural raw honey or the basic plastic bear are all on the rise. They can go on Pizzas at the highest end Pizzeria to the more acceptable mid-level Pizza shops just as easily.
Most fruits for the last 15 years have been relegated to dessert Pizzas if used at all, and to mention dessert Pizza in several shops is verboten. Fruit is a huge category, but again when you talk base level flavour like sweet, savoury and tart, fruit can be all three. Strawberries and pears (in the pic) coupled with goat cheese or ricotta with microgreens are all items that are on non-dessert Pizzas now.
You see they’re just like regular greens except these ones…..wait for it….. are micro. Chalk this up to being a fad, or indulge it. It’s more presentable to have micro basil on some dishes than its larger counterpart. Basil, of course, being the multilateral topping that it is, can be used in several different ways. Microgreens are baby plants and should not be confused with sprouts. Their stems are significantly more edible than that of fully realized adult plants. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, arugula, even garlic, all have microgreen options you can utilize on your menu.
CBD and Marijuana
This is more a curiosity than a real suggestion, but still. CBD, devoid of any THC, infused into flour or as an additional topping with oil is buzz-worthy in the current social climate. Its actual effectiveness and or the necessity to use it culinarily is without question a fad… As the marijuana industry becomes more socially accepted and as more states legalize it, people are seeking ways to incorporate it into their lives. Where that’ll lead in the future is anyone’s guess…
Coming to the end of this article, let me encourage you to experiment with these different toppings with your Pizza. Have fun taking your recipes (and brand) to the next level while you give your customer base something new to try and talk about. It’s things like this that build your word of mouth advertising as well as your customer loyalty.
Choosing your Pizza topping selection is quite possibly the most exciting part of the job! PizzaSi makes it very easy to deliver great Pizzas to your guests, easily consistently while reducing overheads…
Discover our range of premium artisan Pizza bases: all hand-stretched, fresh not frozen, light, thin and crispy, as per the Italian tradition.
Just add toppings!
Get in touch now, and our development chefs will assist in making your Pizza menu the ultimate experience for your guests!
PS: I despise Pineapple on Pizza! 🙂
Credits: Pizza Today