Crowdsourced most popular pizza toppings rankings predict Sales, study shows




(Press Release), Los Angeles, CA, July 10, 2013 -- What do pepperonis, cheese and mushrooms have in common? More than you might think, according to a recent study conducted by UC Irvine professor Michael Lee. These three savory items rank high on Ranker’s list of The Tastiest Pizza Toppings—and they also top Strombolini’s New York Pizzeria’s list of their Top 10 Highest Selling Pizza Toppings.

Coincidence? Probably not. For this study, Lee analyzed lists of pizza toppings that were ranked in order of preference by 29 different Ranker.com users. When he combined the data from all of these lists and compared it to Stombolini’s sales list, he came to an interesting conclusion: The collective opinion of the group of individuals was more accurate at predicting sales numbers (except in one case) than any individual list.

Ranker’s Principal Data Scientist, Ravi Iyer says, "While crowdsourcing is usually used to predict important political and financial events, it can also be used to predict answers to more mundane, yet useful questions, such as which toppings to order on pizzas for a crowd of strangers. Ranker hopes to provide the best crowd-sourced answer to such questions."

Iyer and Lee believe that studies like this will begin to show that combined knowledge can be compared to and perhaps be predictive of real-world, ground truths. In other words: today’s pizza toppings may be tomorrow’s political candidates…or something to that effect.  You can read more about Michael Lee’s experiment on Ranker's Data Blog.