Sector Insight: pizza and pasta restaurants

The recession has done little to curb consumers' appetite for these foods

Recent Pizza Hut campaign
Recent Pizza Hut campaign

Five Key Trends

Eating out. People still see eating out as top spending priority and the convenience mentality has similarly buoyed takeaway sales although pressure remains on spending.

 Sporting events. 2012 is a good year for big sporting events with the Euro football championship and London Olympics – all of which encourage takeaway pizza purchases for communal at-home viewing.

 Price promotions. While money-off vouchers may  boost footfall (18% of users say the vouchers make them go more often) it does little for brand loyalty.

 Location. Convenience is a significant factor in consumers’ choice of restaurant with about 25% of users saying location is more important than the outlet brand.

 Menu innovation. Outlets are constantly updating their menus to maintain eaters’ interest as well as including options such as half and half (two half portions).

 Over 45s. Use of pizza/pasta outlets drops sharply among the older demographic remaining highest among younger consumers and families.

Source: Mintel

Pizza/pasta restaurant use, sit-in vs takeaway/home delivery (January/February 2012 %)

Major pizza/pasta restaurant/takeaway brands (by outlet numbers)

The Industry's Main Players

Christopher Tebben, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut

 US-native Tebben has held this role at Pizza Hut since 2010. He has been with the Yum! organisation for six years in senior marketing roles both in the UK and US. Previous experience includes Kraft Foods and Ford brand management positions.

 Simon Wallis, sales and marketing director, Dominos

 Wallis is a pizza marketing veteran having worked for many of the leading brands. He was director of strategy and innovation for Pizza Hut before moving to Papa John’s as senior director of marketing Europe & Middle East. In 2010 he joined Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland where he has overseen the launch of its Stuffed Crust, its social media strategy, the development of apps for the iPhone, Android and iPad, and the sponsorship of ITV’s Red or Black.

 Emma Woods, marketing director, Pizza Express

 Woods joined Pizza Express in 2008 to head its marketing department and has been a driving force behind the revamped Pizza Express. Prior to joining the pizza chain she worked at Unilever for 17 years. She worked in marketing across a range of food brands in the UK and Europe, as well as stint in Mexico.

 Jordan Cohen, marketing manager, Prezzo

 Cohen joined Prezzo in March 2011 with responsibility for its marketing and communications. He previously worked at the JN and Media Group in marketing after studying Business and IT at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Winners and Losers in the pizza and pasta restaurant sector

Domino's. Sales grew 3.6% (year to March 2012) with ecommerce accounting for more than half UK sales. Continued expansion into Europe and menu innovation.

Carluccio's. Despite the dine-in market being squeezed, Carluccio's has extended the number of outlets in the past year to almost 60 at the start of the year.

Jamie's Italian. Jamie Oliver's 'authentic affordable Italian restaurants' have, like Carluccio's, shown that there are opportunities for smaller brands and aims to have 30 outlets by the end of the year.

Perfect Pizza. Has had to reduce its number of outlets in recent years (falling from 110 to 77 in 2011) after it fell into administration.

Paramount Restaurants. Went into administration in November 2011, taking the Bertorelli Italian restaurant brand with it.

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