Brands Fighting For A Piece Of The Pie
By: Jade Spadoni
Raise your hand if your diet has become mostly pizza during this pandemic. I know, I can’t be the only one. It’s true, this year, diners are embracing the convenience of carrying out or baking at home a delicious pizza. Restaurants and frozen pizza brands alike have seen a rise in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frozen pizza has become a go-to grocery item this year and sales across the category have risen 18.1% (according to data from Chicago-based IRI).
Pizza is one of the easier dishes to carry out or have delivered, which is key while more people are spending time at home. Now, with the increase of pizza sales, restaurant chains are now fighting for a piece of the pie. Claiming their spot in the oven, Panera Bread has announced the addition of flatbreads to their menu. By utilizing what they already have on-hand (i.e. plenty of bread, cheese, and toppings), the chain will use their ingredients in a fresh new way – creating delicious flatbread pizzas and satisfying the desires of their customers.
Panera’s Chief Brand & Concept Officer, Eduardo Luz, shared with Ad Age that the brand saw promising feedback during the initial flatbread testing in 2019 into 2020. However, the restaurant industry was disrupted by the pandemic, and the shift into delivery and carryout had to be made. The shift was welcomed by the brand and the sudden spark in delivery and carryout made it even more compelling to launch pizzas during this time – especially when Panera’s delivery is growing at a triple-digit rate, while rapid pickup and drive-thru orders are up double digits.
Panera Bread announced its newest menu item on social today and so far, the response has been positive.