An estimated 350 slices of pizza are eaten each second in the U.S.
It’s not known exactly who the first person was to slap toppings on a flatbread and eat it, but whoever that was, modern humans owe them a debt of gratitude.
From those humble beginnings came one of today’s most popular foods — pizza.
International Pizza Day is celebrated on Feb. 9 every year, so let’s explore data and statistics to help us understand just how popular this Italian dish has become.
Pizza as we know it has been around since at least the 1700s and likely originated in ancient times.
Residents of Italy’s Campania region are believed to be the first to eat something very similar to what we call pizza today, and this trend started in Naples in the 18th century.
At that time, the dish consisted of flatbreads with various toppings. Those included tomatoes, cheese, garlic and anchovies.
Pizza became popular in the United States starting in the 19th century thanks to Neapolitan immigrants, but the dish didn’t spread to the remainder of Italy until the mid-20th century.
Pizza Industry & Global Markets
People all over the world love pizza, and both the U.S. and global markets are incredibly lucrative and growing. Let’s explore details about the industry and the global pizza market, which proved to be pandemic-proof.
- The global pizza market is forecasted to reach US$233 billion in 2023, according to Business Wire research.
- In 2020, two dominant pizza markets were Western Europe ($49.3 billion) and North America ($48.6 billion), according to Statista research.
- The third biggest pizza industry market value is in Latin America ($12.5 billion), according to the same source.
- During the pandemic in 2020, pizza chains in the U.S. experienced a 0.72% loss of sales compared to the year prior, while the independent restaurants experienced 0.58% more sales according to PMQ.
- The worldwide pizza market is expected to grow 4.84% by the end of 2021, according to PR Newswire.
Pizza Consumption by Country
Pizza is one of the preferred meals in the world due to its cheap price and fast preparation. Since it’s a dish that you can eat on the go, in a restaurant, or at home, people from all around the world enjoy it every day. Here are the top 10 countries with the biggest pizza consumption worldwide:
- The U.S.
- The U.K.
- China, according to The Food XP.
The U.S. isn’t the biggest pizza lover after all. Norwegians eat about 5 kg (11 lbs) pizza each annually. They prefer frozen pizzas that they heat in the oven.
Pizza Types and Toppings
Pepperoni, sausage, cheese, pineapple, anchovies: We all agree pizza is great, but we don’t necessarily align when it comes to what goes into making a delicious slice.
- Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States, and half of the respondents in a YouGov survey said it was in their top three favourites.
- The most popular pizza toppings in 2020 were pepperoni, mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, onion, black olives, green pepper, fresh garlic, tomato, and fresh basil, according to Pequod’s Pizza.
- The regular crust is the most popular crust type in the U.S. (33%), but the thin crust is not far behind (29%). About 10% say deep-dish pizza is their preferred type. But these preferences vary depending on the region.
- 203.13 million Americans consumed frozen pizzas (bought frozen) in 2020, according to Statista.
- While the YouGov study reported that Pepperoni is the most popular topping in the US, the real-time data on Google Trends indicates that the vegan trend is on the rise with “veggie pizza” being the popular keyword in more than 40 states.
- The world’s longest pizza measured more than 6,300 feet, was made using 17,700 pounds of dough and 5,000 pounds of tomato sauce. It was topped with 3,900 pounds of mozzarella cheese, according to Guinness World Records.
Like any food, pizza can come with a high price tag or a low one depending on how it’s made, what’s on it and where you get it. But you might be surprised to find out that the most expensive pizza in the world could require you to max out your credit card.
- You can buy the world’s most expensive pizza can be had in Salerno, Sicily, for the bargain price of $12,000, according to Success Story.
- The most expensive cheese pizza in the U.S. is $9.21 on average, according to the same source.
- You can find the cheapest pepperoni pizza is Virginia Beach, VA at $6.26, according to the same source.
- In Germany, you will pay €4-6 for a slice of an average Italian pizza, according to GlobalPrice.info.
- In Italy, you will pay €4-5 for a slice of Margherita, according to Pizza Dixit.
Pizza Consumption and Age/Gender
We won’t get into how you can develop an unhealthy habit when eating pizza every day, but it’s an everyday struggle for more and more parents around the world.
- Pizza alone is over 5% of kids’ total calorie consumption, according to South Seattle Emerald article.
- 1 in 6 males aged 2 to 39 eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on any given day, according to Eat This Pizza Facts.
- 63% of all pizza lovers are women, according to a Thrillist article.
- Men eat 93% more pizza (1.44 more slices) when dining with a female than when with another man, according to an LA Times article.
Fun Pizza Facts
Now that you know more about the pizza statistics and have a bigger understanding of the size of the industry, let’s see some of the fun facts about the world’s favorite meal.
- Thin crust pizza is the most popular form of crust worldwide, according to Picklemans.com.
- More than 2 million Pizza Hut pizzas are sold during the Super Bowl, according to NRN.
- 36% of Americans eat pizza as a breakfast meal, according to a DeNiro’s Pizza article..
- Margherita pizza got its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889 when she asked the chef to make a pizza with toppings of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, according to an Honest Food Talks article.
- The oldest type of pizza is pizza Marinara, topped with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil and created in 1734, according to a Life in Italy article.
- Antica Pizzeria, the first known pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738, according to a How Stuff Works article.
- The first pizza parlor in America is Lombardi’s in New York City. Although originally opened as a grocery store, Lombardi’s started selling pizza in 1905, according to a Mental Floss article.
- Pizza industry is a $30-35 billion industry in the U.S., with pizzerias making up 17% of restaurants, according to a Greens Pizza article.
People Also Ask
When was pizza invented?
Pizza was invented in ancient times but pizza as we know it originated in the 1700s.
When is national pizza day?
National pizza day in the US is on November 12. World pizza day is on February 9 each year.
How is pizza sauce made?
Pizza sauce is usually made with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and black pepper.
What was the largest pizza ever?
The largest pizza ever made measured 1261.65 square meters. It was made by people from NIPfood at Fiera Roma, in Rome, Italy (Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte), on 13 December 2012.
Is frozen pizza good for you?
It’s good if you consume it moderately. Store-bought pizzas are often loaded with excessive sodium. If you eat only frozen pizzas, you will probably feel depressed and gain weight after a while due to the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating.
Hand-tossed, deep-dish, thin-crust, gluten-free. Chicago vs. New York. Anchovies or pineapple. Regardless of how we prefer to consume it, it’s not hard to understand why pizza is beloved and shows no signs of going stale, even in pandemic times.