Are You Ready for How the Pizza World is Changing?

You might think you know the pizza market, but are you prepared for some profound changes that may occur in 2016?

In reviewing PMQ Magazine’s 2016 Power Report, a number of issues jump out that may give you, the pizzeria operator, a new view of your customer, menu and future. Check it out:

Here are a few notable points the study made:

1. The typical pizza lover is a woman who exercises twice a week.
2. Non-white populations – Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans – are growing faster than Caucasians.
3. With $1 trillion in buying power, Millennials are the most powerful demographic in American history.
4. Millennials distrust corporate brands and favor the authenticity of independents.
5. Millennials, who also look for eco-friendliness and sustainability in places they patronize, favor organic and other labels that convey “better” ingredients.
6. Most consumers use smart phones and related digital technology to order, view and convey information about their favorite or least favorite places to eat.

In case you are still wondering, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38 and are changing the way everyone does business as fast as their internet connections will allow them. Their influence over the other demographic groups is causing dramatic changes in all business segments.

liguriaThey consider themselves “foodies” and look to “connect” with their favorite brands. They can be very fickle. They also love pizza and if they like yours, they can turn you into a huge success.

In addition to the growing impact of Millennials on business, PMQ’s Report cited these factors:

1. Fast-Casual concepts remain the fastest growing segment of the restaurant business, having grown 550 percent since 1999. They are expected to continue double-digit growth for years to come.
2. Wages will continue to rise and depending on who wins the White House, they could go up to $15 per hour nationally. In line with increasing wages, prices will also increase. What may offset cost increases are continual declines in the price of gasoline and other commodities.
3. Menu labeling is an offshoot of our desire to get things right and create more transparency for customers who are more diet-conscious, desire more wholesome foods, and demand that their pizzerias comply with national guidelines. For operations with less than 20 units, it is not required by the FDA to show nutritional information, but it probably behooves you to consider it, especially if you want to attract those conscious Millennials.

The 2016 Power Report may seem like a boatload of unwieldy conclusions that could distract you from normal daily tasks, but the changes ahead are simply part of doing business in a careful and considerate manner.

As always, listen to your customers, provide the convenience, service and quality they demand and you will benefit. Oh, yeah, and Smile … as you may have heard, they’re contagious.

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