Pizza and profits

by Erica Shaffer
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Tyson Food Service offers five strategies to optimize traditional pizza ingredients.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Food Service, a unit of Tyson Foods Inc., believes there’s more to pizza than the pie. Profits are to be had for foodservice operators who optimize their operations, and the Tyson subsidiary believes its five-prong approach shows foodservice operators ways they can make traditional pizza profitable and grow their business.

Tyson Food Service offers its own brand of Italian-inspired products under the Bonici brand which includes toppings, dough, crusts and chicken products. The brand is a mainstay in Tyson’s prepared foods business which extends beyond retail.

“We also sell a lot of important items to foodservice and industrial customers, things like pizza toppings, pizza crust, tortillas, sauces, soups, those kinds of things, Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith said at the BMO analyst conference in May. “Those are all in our prepared foods business.”

Using insights culled from the company’s pizza segment experience, consumer research and industry insights, Tyson Food Service offered guidance on ways to increase versatility within the pizza segment. Among the five strategies, foodservice operators are encouraged to repurpose traditional pizza ingredients.

“Consumers still want familiar pizza tastes, but also want versatility,” according to a press release from the company. “Operators can broaden their menus by utilizing traditional pizza products and ingredients to develop unique pastas, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and other appetizers. By expanding their menus with already-stocked pizza ingredients, they will accommodate more tastes, improve waste management and boost sales.”

Meatball sub
Multi-protein ingredients can help manage fluctuating commodity prices.

Next, a balanced protein mix can help manage volatile commodity prices. A menu mix of meatballs, ingredient chicken and multi-protein products such as chicken and beef pepperoni can help lower ingredient costs and increase margins.

Also, consumer demand for all-day breakfast represents an opportunity for foodservice operators generate customer traffic. Tyson Food Service encourages customers to extend the use of pizza toppings such as sausage, cheese and dough to create breakfast-inspired offering — breakfast pizzas and flatbreads for example.

“With the increasing popularity of breakfast, many fast-food and QSR restaurants are going full-force into this daypart,” the company explained. “Having a cost-effective breakfast solution will help operators be competitive, especially if these menu items are available all day.”

Another pressing consumer demand is for convenient and portable food options. Technomic’s 2014 “The Pizza Trend Report” found that 26 percent of consumers want pizza establishments to offer pizza snacks that can be enjoyed on-the-go. Tyson Food Service said portable items such as snack-sized portions of stuffed breadsticks provide an option for portable on-the-go snacking.

Finally, foodservice operators should partner with suppliers that offer several brands. Multiple brand providers consolidate purchasing costs and can cover multiple day parts. “The benefit to the operator includes usage ideas across brands and products to optimize menu offerings and valuable research and insights on effective pairings,” the company said.

“With growing consumer demand for variety, there is more opportunity than ever for operators to create unique menu additions across all day parts using traditional pizza products,” said Tiffany Jetter, senior brand manager for Tyson Food Service.

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