- During the first three weeks of January, orders for salads jumped 10% nationwide compared to the first three weeks in December, according to data from ezCater, which reviewed aggregated orders from its marketplace of 60,000 restaurants and caterers.
- Pizza orders decreased 20% during this time frame.
- Ordering habits varied by city. Indianapolis ordered the most salad, with salad orders jumping 36% and pizza orders falling 56%.
While it's no surprise salad orders increased as Americans started new diets as part of New Year's resolutions, there has been an overall shift in Americans eating healthier. More than 55% of Americans said they were living healthier compared to the previous year, according to 2017 data from Mintel. In another Mintel study, 60% of Americans said eating healthy food is important.
To try and capture the increased preference for healthier meals, ezCater Director of Caterer Partner Marketing Tim Riedel told Restaurant Dive in an email that restaurants and caterers can tailor menus to appease health-conscious consumers while also taking into account dietary restrictions.
"Get creative with options like cauliflower steaks, grain bowls and salads with energy-packed ingredients, like roasted chickpeas," he said.
Pizza certainly hasn't fallen out of favor, however. Riedel said pizza is still incredibly popular for catering, and pizza orders often spike when people come gather and indulge during the holidays and big events.
"Pizza and sports are a classic combination, and that was clear leading up to the SuperBowl this year in offices across the U.S.," he said.
From Jan. 27 to Feb. 3, pizza orders on ezCater rose by 92.9% over the prior week. Pizza Hut, which sponsored the NFL, said in a press release its game-day sales broke records with the highest digital sales and transactions, selling nearly two times as many pizzas compared to an average Sunday. It sold enough pizzas to cover over 41,000 football fields, and the largest order was about $5,134 to a Kansas customer.
Given the success of large events and popularity of healthier eating options, it makes sense that many pizzerias have started to incorporate healthier options, such as Rockstar Pizza's keto-friendly items. As younger consumers push for more options to suit various dietary needs, pizzarias will have to make their pizzas healthier in order to defend its spot as the favorite food in America.