The pandemic has put a strain on just about everybody’s schedules, especially parents. While navigating changes at work and school, dinner solutions that save time and effort have unsurprisingly been top of mind for consumers with kids.
According to Technomic’s January 4, 2021 Industry Insights report, parents’ average spending on foodservice increased by $23 dollars a week between August and November 2020. Off-premise sales in particular have seen an increase, with parents representing 53% of monthly third-party delivery customers even though they represent only 35% of the population.
As the market recovers, restaurateurs have an opportunity to cater to the needs of busy parents – a great first step is to pin down exactly what parents are looking for when they order dinner for the family.
Makings of a family meal
Ordering pizza is a standby for many families and for good reason: it’s easy, satisfying and overall a crowd-pleaser for diners of all ages. And, variety and customization options help parents build the perfect pie to bring to the dinner table.
Pleasing a number of palates and dietary needs is key, and for consumers, alternative crust options are a must-have. According to Technomic’s March 2021 Pizza Menu Trends report, 25% of consumers who eat pizza say they’re interested in eating pizzas featuring crusts made with alternatives to white wheat flour, and 28% strongly agree that they would eat pizza more often if there were healthier options available. Technomic’s 2020 Pizza Consumer Trend Report found that 51% of consumers want to see more natural ingredients available, 27% want lower carb options, 24% want plant-based components while, 23% seek gluten-free options.
Traditional pizza crust classics also remain a staple with consumers and there is an increasing demand for authenticity. A great example of this is Neapolitan-style pizza. In fact, according to Technomic’s 2020 Pizza Consumer Trend Report, 32% of restaurant pizza consumers would like more restaurants/pizza establishments to offer Neapolitan-style pizza. To support this trend, Ardent Mills offers Primo Mulino® Neapolitan-Style Pizza Flour for making authentic, thin pizza crusts.
“Parents rely on quick, easy and streamlined solutions, that’s not anything new. However, they want this convenience without compromising their upgraded expectations for higher quality ingredients, better flavor, or whatever aligns with their personal values,” said Sarah Waller, Channel Marketing Lead, Ardent Mills. “Pizza is a great way to capitalize on this trend because it offers versatility, a seemingly endless number of combinations, and is a crowd pleaser.”
Even more, the crust is the element consumers prioritize when judging pizza quality: Technomic’s 2020 Pizza Consumer Trend Report found that consumers overwhelmingly consider the crust to be the most vital pizza component, with 40% of consumers saying crust quality is most important to them, followed by sauce quality at 14%.
“Pizza crust is essentially the flavor delivery system. If the crust is sub-par, what’s on top doesn’t really matter,” said Waller. “Pizza crusts offer restaurant operators the opportunity to meet many consumer demands – from plant-forward and gluten-free, to traditional, authentic pizzas and more.”
Solutions that satisfy
Meeting each consumers’ varied pizza preferences is a tall order on its own, and crafting pizzas for the whole family can add an extra challenge. Fortunately, Ardent Mills offers the industry’s broadest range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products to suit each restaurant’s individual consumer base. With flours to help you prepare almost every pizza style—from St. Louis thin crust, to Chicago deep dish, to organic- and keto-friendly varieties and more—Ardent Mills is a pizza operators’ one-stop shop for crafting quality crusts that families with varying palates, lifestyle and dietary needs will love.
The technical and culinary experts at Ardent Mills are dedicated to working closely with pizza operators to understand their needs and suggest the best ingredients for their restaurant. To learn more about how Ardent Mills can help keep busy families coming back again and again, check out the Pizza Hub to learn more.
This post is sponsored by Ardent Mills