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Americans Are Favoring Frozen Pizza Over Fresh, New Data Shows

Shoppers are gravitating toward the easy, at-home option as food prices continue to rise.

When you need a quick bite to eat, nothing hits the spot quite like a slice of hot, cheesy pizza. However, not everyone has the time to pop over to their favorite pizzeria or the desire to pay restaurant prices. That's when frozen pizza becomes the next best option.

Whether you're looking for a simple cheese pie or one loaded with toppings, grocery stores boast a plethora of frozen pizza choices designed to appeal to different food preferences while alleviating some of the strain on consumers' wallets. And shoppers have taken notice.

New data from marketing solutions company Vericast reveals that 13% of recent pizza restaurant guests are "trading down" to frozen or non-restaurant pizza, due to inflation.

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In a recent press release, Vericast shared that frozen pizza sales have climbed by 11% over the past year, with retailers ramping up their frozen pizza promotions by 214% over the past two years. Additionally, 43% of recent pizza restaurant guests reported that they purchase frozen pizza in a typical week.

"The pizza battle is on, and grocery stores are winning," Dana Baggett, client strategy director of Vericast's restaurant division, said in the company's press release.

As consumer behavior continues to shift amid ongoing inflation, almost half of the survey respondents in Vericast's 2023 Restaurant TrendWatch report disclosed that they eat at restaurants less often. At the same time, 18% of consumers, particularly millennials and parents, are choosing less expensive pizza brands or restaurants, with 25% of frequent pizza consumers opting for cheaper pizza options.

Baggett noted that while some people believe the four pizza giants—Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, and Little Caesars—are the first pizza selections among customers, Vericast "found that the top choice is actually 'no preference.'"

vericast pizza data
Courtesy of Vericast

"Consumers are shifting to at-home pizza, resulting in the big four pizza players losing 3% share of wallet compared to same time last year," Baggett added, citing data compiled by Numerator Promotions Intel.

Among the key report findings, Vericast pointed out that although 64% of those who were surveyed "agree rising prices are making restaurant dining too expensive," 41% of them said because of increasing grocery prices, eating at home is "not necessarily cheaper." Furthermore, 50% of the respondents said coupons and discounts help them choose between restaurants.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna