7 Innovative Pizza Offerings


New innovations across packaged and foodservice pizza are taking shape as consumers seek out thin, clean-label, gluten-free, exotic and spicy varieties.

About 48% of consumers prefer thin crust, according to Technomic’s 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report.

Adding fuel to the fire is the growing popularity of Neapolitan-style pizza, which “has redefined the crisp and thin varieties,” said Tom Michalewski, customer marketing manager of convenience for Rich’s Foodservice, which offers a turnkey Corner Market Pizza Program complete with equipment and merchandising tools. “To compete with fast-casual restaurants, c-stores must offer a variety of pizza options to satisfy every customer, whether they prefer thin, thick or gluten-free crusts.”

Click through for seven innovative pizza options arriving at market.

Photograph: ShutterStock

1. SkinnyPizza

skinny pizza

Fast-casual, build-your-own pizza restaurant SkinnyPizza is launching at retail clean-label frozen pizzas. Three SKUs include Mozzarella & Provolone Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni and Gluten-Free Cheese. Joseph Vetrano, CEO and founder of the company, said “we only source premium ingredients and pile on the flavor, without packing in the carbs and calories. We use simple ingredients like wheat flour, all-natural part-skim mozzarella and organic tomatoes.” The brand’s Uncured Pepperoni is nitrate-free, while its Gluten-Free Cheese pizza has garnered the endorsement of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Next in the innovation hopper is a Cauliflower Crust Pizza expected to roll out this fourth quarter.

Photograph courtesy of SkinnyPizza

2. Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts

richs fresh n ready thin crust pizza

Rich’s Foodservice is expanding its convenience channel portfolio to include three new clean-label, 10-inch gluten-free pizza crusts: Seasoned Cauliflower, Broccoli Cheddar and Traditional Gluten-Free. The crusts round out the supplier’s gluten-free portfolio, which includes par-baked pizza crusts in 7.25- and 12-inch sizes. While ideal as pizza crusts, the new varieties can also be used for sandwiches and dips.

Photograph courtesy of Rich's Foodservice

3. Fresh ’N Ready Thin Oven-Rising Sheeted Pizza Dough

richs foodservice broccoli crust

In addition to its gluten-free crusts, Rich’s also expanded its Fresh ’N Ready portfolio with Thin Oven-Rising Sheeted Pizza Dough. Available in 7- and 16-inch sizes, the dough features beadcrumbs for a crispy crust and signature crunch. The dough can be stretched to make a variety of fresh menu options, including calzones, strombolis and breadsticks.

Photograph courtesy of Rich's Foodservice

4. Fly Guys Pizza

mclane flyguys pizza

McLane Co. Inc. unveiled a new program that aims to bring a pizza offer to convenience-store retailers of any size. The Fly Guys Pizza program delivers frozen pizzas that retailers can serve whole or by the slice, or merchandise in the freezer section for consumers to bake at home. The pizzas come in pepperoni, five-meat and breakfast varieties. Fly Guys is the first joint partnership between McLane Kitchen and McLane’s Consumer Value Products private-label subsidiary. Teresa Voelter, product director for McLane, said Fly Guys “is a template for attacking foodservice in the future.”

Photograph courtesy of McLane Co.

5. Tombstone Roadhouse Pizza

tombstone roadhouse pizza

In addition to its flagship offer, Tombstone has cultivated the frozen category further with offshoots that include Tombstone Roadhouse Pizza, as an authentic tavern-style pizza that is fully loaded with premium toppings. Varieties include Piled High Pepperoni Pizza, Two Meat Matchup, Bring On The Meat and Double Down Deluxe.

Photograph courtesy of Tombstone

6. Hot Pockets Pizza Stix

nestle hot pockets pizza stick

Operators can provide customers with portable snackability with Hot Pockets Pizza Stix from Nestle Professional. Hot Pockets Pizza Stix are made with real cheese, offering a good source of protein for customers looking for a hearty, better-for-you option. The snack offers on-trend classic pizza flavors with real cheese and no artificial flavors.

Photograph courtesy of Nestle Professional

7. O, That’s Good Frozen Pizza

o thats good pizza

After the success of O, That’s Good soups and sides, Oprah Winfrey and Kraft Heinz are expanding the line of better-for-you foods to include premium frozen pizzas. Each pizza has a nutritious twist: One-third of the crust is made with cauliflower. The pizzas are also made with no artificial flavors or dyes. Available in Pepperoni, Five Cheese, Supreme and Fire Roasted Veggie varieties, the pizzas have an SRP of $6.99.

Photograph courtesy of Kraft Heinz