The gourmet way to get more protein on your pizza bites

by SugarCreek
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Pizza topped with pepperoni and bacon bits
At restaurants where bacon is added to the description of a dish, the sales of that dish increase.

While grocery shoppers may still pick up a frozen pizza now and again, the heat-and-eat meals have fallen out of favor with consumers of late. Many shoppers are eschewing these frozen dinners in favor of other options they perceive as healthier or higher-quality alternatives like protein bites and gourmet foods. But pizza itself is a timeless treat. By adapting to current food trends popular with consumers, food manufacturers can win back business and give their customers the food tastes that they love.

Many food trends start with gourmet chefs then make their way down into the masses. The bacon-on-everything trend had the opposite trajectory. While bacon has always been an American favorite, the erstwhile breakfast food swept into other categories as it gained popularity in memes and other shareable content on social media sites. Soon, individuals were putting bacon on burgers, around meatloaf, and into everything from vodka to chocolate chip cookies.

According to researchers, Americans eat around 5.6 billion lbs. of bacon every year. That boils down to 18 lbs. a person. The trend toward bacon has continued to grow for over a decade and shows no sign of slowing down, and food experts have started describing America’s bacon fever as an acceptable addiction. And bacon has reinvigorated food culture. The organizer of California's Americana Festival credits bacon with saving the future of the event. When he rebranded it as BaconFest and added bacon-themed food vendors, attendance at the embattled music festival soared. The smoky treats attract foodies and families alike and continue to provide a venue for musicians from all over the country.

Bacon and your brand

The majority of food trends come and go. Kale has had its moment, and a lot of people are now admitting that they were never too crazy about the leafy green. A few years ago, pomegranate was everywhere, but it's gone back to being a niche food. And, this year, people seem to have had their fill of pumpkin spice everything as the backlash against the seasoning blend is starting.

At one time, pizza itself – and especially pizza that had been packaged into pizza bites – was considered a trendy food. Ever since Jeno Paulucci hired a freelance food designer to find an alternative use for eggroll wrappers, the pizza roll has been a constant part of the frozen snack food landscape.

Bacon was a beloved food stuff even before it set the internet on fire. For hundreds of years, it's been a regular part of meals and a favorite seasoning for both chefs and home cooks. And, even as Americans trend toward healthier foods, the love affair with bacon continues. At restaurants where bacon is added to the description of a dish, the sales of that dish increase. Bacon can do the same to revitalize sales of your brand's offerings.

By incorporating bacon and other trendy toppings into your frozen pizza snacks, you can make them one of your customers' favorite protein bites again. Using a specialty bacon can add even more cache to your treats. Many restaurants and brands win by using bacon from small or sustainable producers. Others gain a following by attaching a famous upscale brand name. Still others gain traction by advertising specially flavored bacons such as maple bacon, black pepper or others. Pick a cure and producer that fit your brand well and see how bacon can enchant your customers and increase the sales of your foods.

Americans’ favorite protein bites will continue to evolve over time. In some cases, consumers move toward healthier, fresher fare. In others, they reach for the most indulgent version possible of a favorite and convenient comfort food. By incorporating bacon, a perennial favorite, into your pizza dishes, you can win consumers back and ensure that they always have your pizza bites handy in their fridge.

This article was contributed by SugarCreek and first appeared on SugarCreek.com.

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