National Pizza Day Serves Up Joy One Slice at a Time

February 9, 2023
6 mins read
National Pizza Day Serves Up Joy One Slice at a Time

    What Do Our Most-Loved Frozen Pizza Brands Say About Us?

    In today’s divisive landscape full of financial anxiety and political unrest, let’s take a moment and celebrate one of the most beloved treasures that brings people together – pizza!

    There are few things that can fill both hearts and bellies like pizza. Pizza’s popularity stems from its versatility, convenience, and taste. It can be customized to suit a wide range of preferences, making it a versatile food that appeals to many people. Its convenience as a takeout or delivery food, as well as its ability to be easily frozen and reheated, has made it a staple food item for many households. Additionally, the variety of toppings and crusts available, as well as the cultural influences, have contributed to its popularity and widespread appeal. When it comes to pizza, loyalty is self-evident.

    Let’s Start From the Top…ping

    In honor of National Pizza Day, we are paying homage not only to this heavenly creation, but also to its made-to-order counterpart – the frozen pizza.

    The first frozen pizza was created in the early 1950s. The specific date and creator of the first frozen pizza is unclear, but it is widely credited with revolutionizing the food industry and making pizza a staple convenience food.

    The first company to sell frozen pizza to the public was a company called Totino’s, which was founded by Jim Totino and Rose Totino in 1951. The company initially offered frozen pizza as a way to sell surplus bread dough, and eventually expanded to offer a variety of frozen pizza products. Today, Totino’s is a well-known brand and a subsidiary of the General Mills company.

    How Much Dough is in the Frozen Pizza Market?

    The frozen pizza market is estimated to be worth billions of dollars globally, and is a staple food item for many households. According to recent reports, frozen pizzas have seen a surge in popularity due to the convenience and variety they offer, making them a top-selling frozen food item.

    Here is a list of what many consider the best frozen pizzas in the United States:

    1. DiGiorno
    2. Red Baron
    3. Tombstone
    4. Totino’s
    5. Freschetta
    6. Celeste
    7. Newman’s 
    8. Tony’s
    9. Jack’s
    10. gluten-free and vegetarian options from brands such as Amy’s and Daiya.
    11. California Pizza Kitchen
    12. Home Run Inn
    13. Whole Foods 365
    14. Wegmans 
    15. Barstool

    Additionally, it is important to note that popular brands can vary depending on regional preferences and availability.

    Everything You Knead to Know about Our Frozen Pizza Insights

    As with all our Insights reports, we analyzed data extracted from consumer receipts submitted to the Veryfi platform. Through the analysis of hundreds of millions of receipts, we identify consumer trends, such as changes in gasoline prices in different regions over time, or relationships between different products when purchased together. For National Pizza Day, we looked at all transactions that contained specific frozen pizza brands. In addition to overall winners, we identified the most popular cross basket items – these are the items most commonly purchased alongside these different pizzas. 

    The pizza manufacturers we looked at were:

    • Nestlė: DiGiorno
    • Schwan’s: Red Baron, Freschetta, Tony’s, and Eddie’s
    • Kraft Heinz: Tombstone

    Of all the Schwan’s pizza brands, the most popular one was Red Baron. So for our analysis, we focused on receipts containing either Nestlé DiGiorno, Schwan’s Red Baron, or Kraft Heinz Tombstone.

    The Supreme Winner

    From our three contenders, DiGiorno was the most widely-purchased frozen pizza brand overall. Meanwhile, Red Baron ranked second and Tombstone was third.

    Brands that Make a Deluxe Combo

    Let’s talk about pizza pairings! The most insightful part of our analysis comes from cross-basket data. These are products which are frequently purchased alongside other products. For CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands like Nestlé, Schwan’s, and Kraft Heinz, this can provide a look into consumer behavior and brand affinities. 

    Cross-basket insights can answer questions like:

    • “What other products in our product portfolio are added on most frequently?” 
    • “Are there correlations between products and brands that surprise us?”  
    • “What opportunities do we have for product bundle promotions?”

    Let’s take a look at some interesting affinities we uncovered with DiGiorno, Red Baron, and Tombstone consumers.

    Top Alcoholic Beverage of Choice

    Among our three pizza titans, we found that DiGiorno purchases tend to also include wine, while Red Baron and Tombstone consumers opted for beer. Across all three brands, Busch Light beer made the top three list, solidifying this beer as the most common cross-basket purchase for all pizza purchases. 

    Digiorno (Nestlé)Red Baron (Schwan’s)Tombstone (Kraft Heinz)
    Fish Eye Chardonnay
    Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Delegat)
    Busch Light (Anheuser-Busch)
    Moscato D’Asti (Romano Dogliotti)
    Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch)
    Busch Light (Anheuser-Busch)
    Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co)
    Michelob Ultra (Anheuser-Busch)
    Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)
    Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch)
    Busch Light (Anheuser-Busch)
    Jose Cuervo Margarita (Beckmann family) 
    Veryfi Insights from scanned consumer receipt data on frozen pizza and cross-basket alcoholic beverage purchases.

    Produce Purchased With Frozen Pizza

    Frozen pizzas have become a staple in many households’ grocery shopping lists. So it’s not surprising to see other grocery items included on the same receipt. We were interested in what type of produce consumers include with their frozen pizza purchase. Our data showed that bananas (the #1 fresh fruit in the U.S.) were the most popular by a large margin for all consumers across the board. 

    Digiorno (Nestlé)Red Baron (Schwan’s)Tombstone (Kraft Heinz)
    Veryfi Insights from scanned consumer receipt data on frozen pizza and cross-basket produce purchases.

    Soft Drink Pairing

    There’s something special about the pairing between a savory pizza slice and the refreshing sweetness of a soft drink. While our data included all soft drink purchases, the leading two were the soft drink giants Coke and Pepsi. We found that DiGiorno and Red Baron consumers prefer Coke while Tombstone consumers opted for Pepsi.

    Digiorno (Nestlé)Red Baron (Schwan’s)Tombstone (Kraft Heinz)
    Veryfi Insights from scanned consumer receipt data on frozen pizza and cross-basket soft drink purchases.

    Sweet Pairings

    DiGiorno consumers didn’t opt for many dessert purchases but we did see ice cream as the top cross-basket dessert choice. Red Baron consumers, on the other hand, were less shy about adding sweets to their purchases, with Jello pudding as the dessert of choice. For Tombstone consumers, Yoplait Yogurt (whether this is dessert can be up for interpretation) was high at the top with Oreos (double stuffed followed by thins) a distant second. By in large, dessert was surprisingly absent from pizza purchases.

    Digiorno (Nestlé)Red Baron (Schwan’s)Tombstone (Kraft Heinz)
    Ice cream (Krogers)Jello pudding (Kraft Heinz)
    Cool Whip (Kraft Heinz)
    Nilla Wafers (Nabisco)
    Yoplait Yogurt (General Mills)
    Oreo Double Stuffed (Nabisco)
    Oreo Thins (Nabisco)
    Veryfi Insights from scanned consumer receipt data on frozen pizza and cross-basket dessert purchases.

    Think Outside the Pizza Box

    What’s great about cross-basket insights are the surprising findings you can discover. When it comes to pizza consumers, we were able to learn that DiGiorno and Red Baron consumers are more likely dog owners while Tombstone consumers are mostly cat owners. Overall, pet food was a major purchase on all receipts!

    Digiorno (Nestlé)
    Red Baron (Schwan’s)Tombstone (Kraft Heinz)
    Cesar dog food (Mars, Inc)Milk-Bone (J.M. Smucker Company)Friskies Cat food (Nestlé)
    Veryfi Insights from scanned consumer receipt data on frozen pizza and cross-basket pet food purchases.

    What can CPG brands do with these insights? There are many possibilities, but the most powerful one is running campaigns around consumer preferences. Maybe there’s an opportunity for Schwan’s Red Baron to connect with dog lovers. Kraft Heinz did not have any other products from their sub brands that ranked in cross-basket purchases, so there is an opportunity for Kraft Heinz to offer more deals within their brand family. 
    Are you looking for receipt scanning technology for your app? Do you want to learn how you can gain cross-basket insights into your customers? Contact our team today and we can provide you with the most accurate, fast and secure OCR technology your team can implement in as little as 5 lines of code.