Private label sales surge but lackluster retail pizza market is going backwards, says Packaged Facts

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Private label now commands a 13.3% share of retail pizza sales
Private label now commands a 13.3% share of retail pizza sales
The US retail pizza market is going backwards, with 2012 sales of frozen and refrigerated pizza predicted to slump by 0.9% to $4.91bn, according to market researcher Packaged Facts.

And things aren’t likely to get much rosier in 2013 or 2014, it predicts.

“We forecast US frozen and refrigerated pizza 2011-2014 compound annual growth of -0.1% ​[estimates are unadjusted for inflation].”

Private label sales were up 9% in year to July 8

However, some segments of the market are growing solidly, with SymphonyIRI data showing that private label pizza sales in food, drug and mass merchandise stores excluding Walmart (FDMx) grew 9% in the 52 weeks ending July 8, says Packaged Facts.

“Private label continues to grow sales and steal share in each of three FDMx retail pizza segments: Frozen pizza, pizza products, and refrigerated pizza.

“Private label now commands a 13.3% share of retail pizza sales. This represents a 1.4 percentage point share increase, on the heels of 9% sales growth. “

Category growth is ‘primarily on the natural and organic front’

As for what kind of pizzas are gaining ground, category growth is “primarily on the natural and organic front​”, notes Packaged Facts.

“Among the top 12 frozen pizza manufacturers, significant growth has come only from Newman’s Own and Amy’s Kitchen.”

This underlined the importance of offering healthier options when developing or reformulating products, said publisher David Sprinkle.

“The main message to pizza purveyors is evident: Enhance the overall healthfulness of your pizza, and experiment with options providing more clear-cut healthfulness without sacrificing taste.”

He also urged manufacturers to:

  • “Push more mileage out of fusion cuisine.
  • Use pizza to mainstream a wider variety of leaner proteins.
  • Leverage vegetable variety.
  • Up the sophistication ante through premium and more exotic natural cheeses and sauce experimentation.
  • Exploit the on-the-go innovation potential of the breakfast day part.”

Rosier picture for foodservice pizza sales

Separately, pizza sales through restaurants and delivery/pickup are expected to rise 3.8% to $36.1bn in 2012, estimates Packaged Facts, which is predicting compound annual growth of 3.3% over 2011-2014 in this segment.

“Although pizza restaurants are losing share to other restaurant cuisine formats, major pizza chains have continued to grow sales.”

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