What's Up in Pizza: 3D Printed Pizza at Home,Chain Pizza Battles, and More!
- Pizza Hut has never been huge in NYC, and things have only gotten worse, with locations going down from 20 in 2009 to 16 this year (10 of which are in Queens), according to the Center for an Urban Future. Their rival Domino's, on the other hand, has 70 stores spread out across the boroughs. Why the disparity? Especially when Pizza Hut is leading nationally (with 6,200 stores vs. 4,939 Domino's)? According to the Observer, the TMNT favorite thrives in the city in part thanks to its focus on delivery, low price, and late hours—all necessary to compete in a city known for its good, independent pizza options.
- A new piece out from Slate takes a looks at the role that social embarrassment plays in retail. Four management professors published the paper—"An Embarrassment of Niches"—which examines situations where a reduction in human interaction saw consequent changes in purchasing behavior. One example involved an undisclosed pizza chain that launched an option for ordering online. When researchers compared the orders of the 6.7% of customers who used the website to what those same customers had previously ordered by phone, they found that customers spent nearly $1 more on toppings, and that the toppings themselves were more complex. The bottom line? People were less embarrassed to order complex and unhealthy "double bacon half pineapple half barbecue" options online than they had been to order them over the phone.
- Foo Fighters' are about to perform their first full concerts in over a year—the group decided to get started a little early, with a show at the appropriately named L.A. pizza joint Rock & Roll Pizza. Rolling Stone covered the performance, a 23-song set in the appealingly intimate venue. Foo Fighters' will be performing this week in Mexico City, their first full show after the hiatus they've been on since last fall (and will be releasing a new album in early 2014).
- According to Businessweek, one of DiGiorno Pizza's cheese suppliers will cease purchasing their milk from a farm that has been at the center of a recent animal-cruelty scandal, the latest sign of growing concerns over humane treatment. Activist group Mercy for Animals published an undercover video depicting the abuse of the animals at Wiese Brothers Farm in Greenleaf, Wis.—the farm is noted as taking immediate steps to address the situation, but the incident has shed light on the larger issues concerning farm animal treatment. Deborah Cross, Nestle spokeswoman (owners of DiGiorno), had this to say, "Consumers are increasingly concerned with animal welfare, and rightly so. At Nestle, this is a concern that we wholeheartedly share. Animal cruelty is not acceptable." Shifts in consumer attitude in recent years may finally see some of these anti-cruelty campaigns gaining traction, as big companies slowly begin to make the necessary changes to their sourcing guidelines.
- We've talked about 3D printed pizza here in the past, but now Tom's Guide has covered a new product that might make this futuristic method of pizza-making more attainable: the Foodini, from Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines. Company co-founder Lynete Kucsma says that they're "...looking to go way beyond just chocolate...we're looking for everyday foods that you would eat." The Foodini is built to prepare all sorts of stuff, not just pizza (ravioli and burgers, for example)—but keep in mind that the printed foods still need to be baked or heated before being ready to eat. Currently in prototype, the finished product will eventually look like something out of a Jetson's episode, sleek and silver, and is expected to go on sale spring 2014 for somewhere around $1,400.
- And, as a final note—if you saw yesterday's post about Macaulay Culkin's new pizza-themed cover band, The Pizza Underground, you may want to check out the latest gem in their collection: a Tumblr account devoted exclusively to the group's visual meanderings.