Pizza is increasingly popular in Italy and abroad but has seen higher prices – up on average by 50 cents over last year. Milan performed badly price-wise but the cities with the highest increases were Brescia in northern Italy and Bari in the south.

Verona, 9 May 2007. Sliced, takeaway or frozen – pizza is still “adored by Italians”. SIAB – the International Bakery, Pastry, Confectionery, Fresh Pasta and Pizza Exhibition (that closes today at VeronaFiere), where dough, mozzarella cheese and tomato were protagonists thanks to events of international appeal – also highlighted a slight drop in the vitality of a field that is nevertheless still a “flagship” of the Italian food culture worldwide.

The timeless “Margherita” pizza still leads the field in terms of consumption but new tastes are gradually coming to the fore: sweet corn, fresh goat cheese, “bufala” mozzarella and “Pachino” tomatoes are just some of the ingredients now used on pizza bases often made with gluten-free dough (for celiac disease suffers) or wholemeal flour.

Data published by the Italian Public Business Federation (Fipe) suggest that current consumption in Italy per week stands at around 56 million pizzas – almost 3 billion pizzas/year.

The European Pizza Institute, however, indicates that pizzerias, particularly in Italy, have not been able to overcome the stagnation caused by the introduction of the Euro and the indiscriminate increases implemented by the sector during the currency conversion stage.

Good and healthy pizzas with modern products and innovative services are of course available and the true “success formula” in this sector but involve a minority – less than 5% of today’s pizza market.

The only ingredient that consumers certainly don’t like is price, up on average by 50 cents over last year. The most expensive piazzas are served in Milan but the cities recording the highest price increases are Brescia and Bari, in southern Italy, where “the bill” increased by 13.79%.

North and South united again – in the name of pizza.

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