In case you didn’t know, food prices are currently very high. And it isn’t just grocery bills that are climbing. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “food at home” costs are 8.4% higher than in 2022, while “food away from home” is 8.8% more expensive than last year. In the face of these increases, it seems that pizzerias are losing business to people opting for frozen pies instead of dine-in or delivery.
“The pizza battle is on, and grocery stores are winning,” Dana Baggett, client strategy director in the restaurant division at Vericast, said in a statement, per Restaurant Business. “Consumers are shifting to at-home pizza.”
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According to a Vericast January 2023 survey that polled nearly 2,000 Americans about their eating habits, a whopping 69% of U.S. shoppers who used to regularly frequent pizzerias are now opting for frozen pies from the grocery store. But they aren’t necessarily reaching for the brand name mainstays. Tasting Table surveyed their readers in September 2022, and almost 75% said they were switching to private label grocery store brands rather than buying name brands. A Reddit thread from earlier this year even asked what people stopped buying because of inflation, and DiGiorno was mentioned by name:
“I used to love digornos [sic] when they were 5$. Now they’re about 8-10$,” the comment reads, which 158 users upvoted.
Restaurant Business says that Domino’s reported a drop in deliveries sales this month, and according to the Vericast survey, the top four U.S. pizza chains all together turned 3% less profit in 2022 compared to previous years. Grocery stores are highly aware of the trend because promos for frozen pies increased 214% in the last year.
It makes a lot of sense that people are buying pizzas at the grocery store to save money. But part of me wonders if the increase of quality vegan and gluten-free options might also have a little something to do with more people taking a trip down the frozen aisle as well.
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