(Press Release) Chicago, IL, July 30, 2013 — Many wonder what the restaurant industry's next hot concept will be. The fast-casual segment, in particular, has already launched numerous proven winners, including so-called 'better burger' chains – restaurants that have raised traditional burgers up to new standards by featuring premium patties, buns, condiments and sides. According to recent Concepts 2020 research conducted by Technomic, the next hot concept is expected to stem from similar roots, but within the made-to-order pizza niche.

"Made-to-order pizza can be the next big growth niche because its fresh, gourmet positioning provides a strong platform for popular health and wellness concepts," says Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President. "The 'better' trend seen in 'better burgers' will also drive 'better sandwich' and 'better pizza' concepts. Not only are made-to-order pizza concepts delivering better quality and fresher ingredients, consumers are able to create their own pizzas that are ready within minutes, a proven recipe for success within the fast casual space."

To provide a closer examination of made-to-order pizza chains, Technomic has issued the first in a new series of concept cluster reports. Each publication identifies and reports on emerging restaurant concepts and analyzes their long-term consumer appeal, explores the evolution of the consumer restaurant experience, identifies operator best practices, taps the pulse of today's restaurant patron, and makes recommendations on what to expect over the next five to seven years.

The Fast Casual Pizza Cluster Report, powered by Technomic's Concepts 2020 study, looks at the overall foodservice landscape and shows areas of growth potential. It includes:

— Cluster identification and definition

— Insights on consumer drivers enabling growth

— Comprehensive pizza concept evaluation

— Related menu trends

— Concepts in action

Technomic provides numerous consumer trend and industry reports to the foodservice industry. To learn more, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or our blog.

ContactsPress Inquiries: Darren Tristano, 312-506-3850, or dtristano(at)technomic.comPurchasing Details: Patrick Noone, 312-506-3852, or pnoone(at)technomic.com

About TechnomicTechnomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.

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