Pizza Trends for 2023
Everybody loves pizza. One of the foods vegans consistently cite missing the most when they switch to a plant-based diet is cheese, especially cheese paired with bread. But although vegan pizzas exist and plant-based cheese flavors and textures have improved considerably, the melt factor has remained largely elusive.
Pizza has its hooks in the consumer public, and it’s a food that practically begs for experimentation. With no end to potential variations on sauces, cheeses, toppings, and even dough recipes, pizza trends are constantly in flux. What’s new in the wide world of pizza in 2023?
Vegan or Gluten-Free Options
Alternative diets inform every aspect of the food industry, from restaurants and bars to snack manufacturing, and pizza is no exception.
Fancier pizza joints are killing it with gluten-free crusts nearly indistinguishable from the real deal, and vegan options are popping up on more menus. Consumers can even find products like cauliflower crust pizza in the frozen foods aisle at nearly every grocery store.
Pepperoni may still reign supreme, but more veggies are making their way onto pizza pies as consumers take stock of their health. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula have become increasingly popular toppings, particularly at gourmet and artisanal pizza joints.
In some cases, greens are crisped atop the pizza as it cooks. Others are tossed into zesty salads with lemon vinaigrette and added after cooking.
When paired with red onions, black olives, shiitake mushrooms, or even sizzling meats, greens not only elevate the flavor profile of a pie but also add tons of vitamins, fiber, and other important nutrients to the mix.
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Mushrooms continue to dominate across the spectrum of trending food products. No longer are consumers limited to portobello and button mushrooms — many now feel comfortable noshing on shiitake, maitake, enoki, porcini, chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, and even morels. And don’t forget the rare and desirable truffle.
Nearly any mushroom can make for an exciting addition to the top of a pizza, adding its unique umami flavor to the mix.
Consumers who are already fans of the classic breakfast sandwich (egg, cheese, meat, and bread) will have no trouble understanding the appeal of breakfast-style pizza, which features some — or, more frequently, all — of these elements.
The bread and cheese are already locked in, but sauces can vary widely, from garlic butter to pesto to Hollandaise, while eggs can be scrambled, fried, poached, or simply cracked on top before baking. Throw on some bacon, chorizo, or other breakfast meats, and send your customers to foodie heaven.
Related: Top 2023 food and beverage trends
Gourmet pizza is nothing new, but the boom in Insta-worthy charcuterie boards has had more consumers reaching for a combo of meats, cheeses, and accoutrements.
Adding fun pairings of artisanal meats and cheeses, like prosciutto and burrata, is an easy entry into this style, but you might also consider bolder offerings like roasted cashews and black mission figs to pique the interest of adventurous diners.
Pickles on pizza? Yes, it’s true. With so many people experimenting with at-home pickling during the pandemic, awareness and appreciation for pickled toppings have expanded.
Adding this distinctive, briny flavor to a basic sauce and cheese pie is fine, but it really pops when paired with salty, savory sausage or pepperoni, the sweet peppery bite of onions and bell peppers, or even the buttery goodness of a garlic cream sauce.
Adventurous diners will be amazed by the flavor explosion when pickles are perfectly paired with the right sauce, cheeses, and toppings.
Not every trend is a hit, but when you punch up your pizza menu with greens, mushrooms, or pickles and throw in alternative diet options, you’re sure to please every diner and inspire sharing that could bring in new customers.
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