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Food & Ingredients

Will 2023 Be the Year of the Pickle Pizza?

The new Slice of the Union report predicts a proliferation of pickle pizzas in 2023, while Roman-style pies look red-hot, too.

Pucker up for the year of the pickle pizza, says Slice, a technology platform that helps independent pizzerias compete against the big chains.

In its annual Slice of the Union report, Slice predicts a proliferation of pickle pizzas in 2023, while Roman-style pies look poised for popularity, too.

“Pickle pizza went viral in 2018,” the report states, “and has steadily become a bigger and bigger favorite. This briney pie is most often baked with garlic sauce, topped with mozzarella and dipped in ranch.”

PMQ reported on the trend back in 2018 as pizzerias from Rochester, New York, to Austin, Texas, started dealing out dill pickle slices on their signature pies. Pickle-topped pizzas still pop up plenty on Instagram feeds these days, while Nashville hot chicken and pickles are often paired together on trendy specialty pies. In 2022, the Hungry Howie’s chain even unveiled a dill pickle-flavored crust for a limited time as well as the Pickle Bacon Ranch pizza, which was topped with dill pickle slices, bacon, ranch dressing and mozzarella.

Also in 2022, mushrooms sprouted up profusely as a pizza topping, appearing on 8.9% more pies, the report found. Additionally, Slice pointed to a 9.7% increase in pizza orders with ranch dressing last year, with Pennsylvania listed as the top state for these requests.

Slice also said it has been “seeing an uptick” in Roman-style pies, which are cut with scissors and sold by weight and boast a satisfyingly crunchy bottom crust. As Mimmo Ferraro, owner of Pizza Forte in Las Vegas, explained to PMQ in November 2017, there are different versions of Roman-style pizza. “You can go to Rome, and everyone sells what they call a ‘Roman-style’ pizza; it could be round, square, any shape or thickness. But, generally, it’s crunchier [and] less doughy or gummy than a Neapolitan style. Pizza al taglio, for example, is cooked in a pan, with a crunchy bottom and a two- to three-day fermentation, but toppings are always kept simple.”

Want to make an authentic Roman pizza? Check out this story by expert baker and cookbook author Michael Kalanty.

The Slice report also found that pineapple as a pizza topping trended downward last year after a steep rise in 2021. “Pineapple pizza orders rose 76% in ’21, so we predicted the trend would continue,” the report notes. Instead, Slice’s network of independent pizza shops recorded 6.1% fewer pineapple pizza orders in 2022. “Its reign is over, but the war pineapple started will go on forever,” the report states. “Ashes to ashes, crust to crust.”

Who’s most likely to put pineapple on their pies? The Slice report identifies California as the state with the most “fruit fiends.” Pizza aficionados in New Jersey have fancier tastes: They’re more likely to order pizza with arugula and/or truffle oil.