Publishing: 21 February

Advertising deadline: 6 February

Submissions deadline: 30 January

Contact Sonya Hook (

The Story

Cowabunga! Pizza is flying, with value and volumes increasing. Curiously, the growth coincides with a significant decline in investment in ads and featured space promotions, according to our research. So what’s driving the growth? NPD? Could last summer’s launch of a film starring pizza’s most famous fans, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, have helped? What are the strongest and weakest parts of the sector? And what does 2015 hold for pizza?

Key themes:

Innovation: This will be key to this feature. We will be investigating how new product development has shaped the category over the past year and what is in store for shoppers in 2015. We will be profiling four of the most interesting launches in a separate innovation panel and in a separate box we’ll be posing the question: What’s next for pizza?

Discounters: Central to this piece will be a discussion of how the rise of the discounters is affecting the pizza market. Our research shows that the discounters and frozen food specialists are in strong growth. Why? How do their offerings, and prices, compare to mainstream retailers’? And what impact has the rise of discounters had on prices in the multiples?

Frozen v chilled: In volume terms, frozen pizza is outgrowing chilled. Why? How have factors such as NPD, advertising and the fact you can pick up three frozen pizzas at the discounters for the price of a single chilled pizza in the mults helped? Is the quality of frozen now so high that you don’t need to spend more on chilled? Why is value outgrowing volume in chilled?

Own label: Own label is outgrowing brands in this category, primarily as a result of its dominance of the chilled pizza market. This feature will explore the key reasons why, paying particularly close attention to what individual retailers are doing to carve out greater share of the market for their own brands. How are brands competing?

Promotions: This feature will explore how the promotional strategies of retailers and brands have changed over the past year, particularly in light of the rise in own label. Attention will be paid to the promotional strategies of retailers and how this has affected average prices over the past year.

Advertising and marketing: This feature will also investigate how the marketing and advertising strategies of the category’s biggest brands have evolved over the past year and how they will develop in the coming year to sustain growth or return brands to growth.

French bread and other variants: French bread pizza is on the up, albeit from a low base. We’ll explore the reasons for this and look in detail at the performances of other pizza variants (for example, thin & crispy is outselling deep pan; why?). What will be the most popular styles of 2015?

Key questions the feature is likely to address:

 What consumer trends have impacted the category over the past year?

 How have promotional strategies (both in terms of price and marketing) evolved?

 How have individual retailers’ strategies impacted the market?

 How has merchandising changed in the market?

 What impact has own-label had on branded players?

 What’s next for the category?