Consumers Start to Demand Better-For-You Pizzas

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A pizza with ingredients that are more nutritious or healthy? We’re all for it! Apparently consumers are too, as the LloydPans innovation team has been hearing more about pizza makers focusing on crafting pizzas designed to improve various ailments — gut health, for one. Ingredient specialist Eurostar Commodities named probiotic pizza one of the biggest trends in food, and adding functional ingredients to a traditionally indulgent pizza is just another way to lure consumers with a pie that tastes good and is good for you.

Source: Eating Well

Katie Wilson, co-founder of Los Angeles-based BelliWelli, told Baking Business that one in five people have irritable bowel syndrome, and 70% of Americans have daily gut issues. Probiotics not only help balance friendly bacteria in our digestive systems, but they also can help prevent and treat diarrhea. Due to this uncomfortable subject, probiotics often aren’t talked about due to embarrassment and stigma around digestive struggles. But, based on what we’re seeing in the pizza industry with probiotic-friendly plant-based cheese and flours, perhaps that tide is turning. 

A report by Chr. Hansen, a global bioscience company, found that consumer awareness around probiotics is growing. There’s an increased desire to learn more about gut health, and in the Chr. Hansen survey, more than half of respondents “received a recommendation to consume probiotics from someone they trust.” Almost half said they consume probiotics daily. Grandview Research reports that the global probiotics market is expected to expand at an annual compound annual growth rate of 7.5% through 2030. Top drivers of the growth include:

  • Improving intestinal transit
  • Balancing intestinal flora
  • Improving the immune system
  • Preventing gastrointestinal disorders
  • Supporting overall wellbeing 

We’re used to hearing about digestive health in yogurt and dairy products containing probiotics, however “most consumers” in the Chr. Hansen survey said they would be interested in trying other foods with probiotics if available. In fact, the food and beverage segment in Grandview Research’s numbers include baked food and non-dairy items. Another way probiotics can be integrated into pizza is with the flour. Probiotic bases are also trending, according to Eurostar Commodities, with doughs made with unleavened kefir. 

Baking Business reported that 200 young adults surveyed by The Food Group are planning to balance the comfort of pizza with more functional foods this year. Pizza was named as a comfort food, but they planned on ordering more pizzas with meat-free, plant-based and functional toppings and crusts. An astounding 98% of respondents said it is “at least somewhat important” to eat functional foods. Alternatives at Pizza Expo alone saw a few new items in this category:

  • Chicken crust: it’s zero carbs, gluten-free, high in protein and keto-friendly
  • Vegetable-infused raw dough shells: available in broccoli, cauliflower, chickpea and sweet potato varieties, the closest option to fresh dough “without going through the entire dough-making process
  • Jackfruit: a trending ingredient that not only serves as a meat alternative, but adds a neutral flavor to build from
  • Vegan mozzarella: It melts! It also includes a mushroom extract for umami and vegan cultures for mozzarella flavor development. Dairy-free cheese and shreds were also a hit at Pizza Expo. 

We would love to hear how you’re incorporating functionality into your pizzas. Cheese, flour, something new? Let us know @LloydPans! 

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