Born from the first ever pizza Margherita which was invented in Naples in 1889, Pizza is one of the world’s most popular dishes.
Adopted across the globe by fast food vendors, chain restaurant conglomerates and even packaged and sold in freezer aisles everywhere, the traditional art of pizza making has inspired generations of food lovers. Now, finally, in a nod to the cultural significance of pizzaiuolo (pizza making), Naples has been awarded world heritage status.
Declaring the art of pizza making in Naples “intangible cultural heritage”, the committee commented, “The culinary know-how linked to the making of the pizza, which includes gestures, songs, visual expressions, local slang, the ability to handle the dough, show oneself off and share it is an indisputable cultural heritage.”
In Naples pizza is not made as we know it elsewhere, but is authentically tossed into the air at height and twirled around by pizzaiuolos, which works to oxygenate the dough, arguably creating a superior pizza.
Italy’s only national bid for UNESCO status, millions backed the campaign and a petition supporting the effort gathered two million signatures, a testament to the importance of pizza to Italy as a national and culturally significant part of their heritage.
Not only a central part of Italian tradition, though, pizza is big business. The global pizza market is worth a staggering US$134bn and pizza is experiencing international growth in popularity on a massive scale.
Emerging markets mark good news for pizza businesses, with countries like Pakistan boosted by a young population which spends 40% of household expenditure on food – making them perfectly primed for further investment in pizza. Pizza Hut is already looking to double the number of stores in Pakistan in the next five years in order to meet demand.
In 2017 pizza was named as the quickest growing sector of fast food eateries, with Business Insider awarding chain Blaze Pizza the accolade as the fastest growing chain. Earlier in the year The Los Angeles Times announced that Domino’s stock had risen 5,000% since 2008, a further demonstration to the growth and popularity of the pizza market.
So what does 2018 hold for the almighty pizza?
PMQ Pizza Magazine notes some important possible trends for the next 12 months that will see quickly adapting businesses make the most of a market that is really heating up.
In The 2018 Pizza Power Report: A State-of-the-Industry Analysis PMQ notes some of the ways that customers’ demands are likely to change which includes a focus on fresh and local produce, nutritional labelling, faster service and customisation.
For chains and independent pizzerias that can keep up with a quickly moving and demanding market there is sure to be money made from dough.