| | Print

While pizza may not be a specific food trend for 2020, that doesn’t mean this crowd favorite is going away anytime soon. With endless opportunities to customize toppings, sauces, crusts, and cheeses, pizza is here to stay. 

Nationwide pizza sales are expected to hit nearly $54 billion in the next three years, so it’s important to know who’s spending all that money on pies and what they’re looking for in a pizza-eating experience.

Check Out Our Top 5 Pizza Trends for 2020

1. Local Produce, Dairy, and Meat

Consumers are looking to shop small more than ever. If you aren’t already, start working with local farmers, dairies, and ranches to incorporate some locally-grown ingredients into your pizzas. And when you do, make sure to shout them out on the menu so guests can feel good about supporting local suppliers.

pizza trends local produce

2. Vegan and Gluten-Free Options 

People are becoming increasingly more wellness-focused and they’re looking for fresh and healthy options in a familiar form. Veganizing a pizza is simple – just incorporate non-dairy cheese alternatives or simply omit it altogether. For those who can’t or choose not to eat gluten, try making a crust option for them out of a gluten-free flour alternative or the now-famous cauliflower crust.

Super Healthy Sliced Vegan Whole Grain Vegetables and Mushrooms Pizza

3. Flavors that Win Over Gen Z

No matter how much they love their kombucha and poke bowls, pizza is still a favorite food trend among the Gen Z crowd. And with their spending power estimated between $29 billion and $143 billion, you’re going to want to cater to them. Some of their current favorite flavors include harissa, Indian and Southeast Asian spices, sweet and savory mashups, and fermented foods, so use those as a jumping-off point to create some unique pies.

Teenagers at a fire pit eating take-away pizzas, close up

4. Online Ordering

Ordering food online or through a mobile app is more popular than ever, and with 60% of people ordering takeout or delivery at least once a week, it’s important to get your pizzeria on board. If third-party fees are holding you back, look into a system that integrates with your restaurant POS

restaurant online ordering from a couch

5. Eco-friendly Packaging

Speaking of Gen Z, they’re some of the most passionate environmental activists out there and they want to support brands that share their values. Offering your takeout and delivery items in recyclable or compostable packaging will help win them over just as much, if not more, than trendy flavors.

package, recycling and eating concept - disposable paper containers for takeaway food on table

See more menu trends, plus get information on staffing, table turn times, and more in our State of the Restaurant Indsutry Report.

Looking for more inspiration? Let’s review the top pizza trends of 2019.

Cauliflower Crust

Your guests may be looking for a healthier take on traditional pizza and cauliflower crust is the hot new alternative. Not only is it a health-conscious option, but it’s also gluten-free. Cauliflower crust recipes have been popping up all over the internet and the trend does not seem to be going away anytime soon. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hormel Foods (@hormelfoods) on

CBD-Infused Pizza

CBD (Cannabidiol) has had a meteoric rise in the past year. In fact, Upserve found that CBD menu items increased by 99% in 2018. Spinelli’s Pizza in Tempe, Arizona got a ton of buzz for introducing CBD-infused pizza and cocktails to their menu, and we’re sure there’s much more to come in 2020.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CBD Break (@cbdbreak) on

Detroit-Style Pizza

Detroit-style pizza is always rectangular and the cheese is sprinkled all the way to the edges, giving it a crispy browned crust. The popular pizza has begun to pop up in areas other than Detroit and so far has been a huge hit.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nina & Rafi (@ninaandrafi) on

Non-Tomato Based Sauces

Pizza-lovers’ willingness to try unique sauces on their pizzas is one trend that is here to stay. Whether it is to satisfy their tastebuds or garner likes on social media, people are still clamoring to get their hands on fun pizzas with non-tomato based sauces. Some unique sauces ideas include Alfredo sauce, olive tapenade, barbeque, pesto, or a drizzle of ranch. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Metro Pizza (@metropizzalv) on

Unique Toppings

Mix up your basic cheese pizza by adding some non-traditional toppings to them. We’ve seen everything from taco pies to Reuben sandwich pizzas and the carb-loaded mac and cheese varieties. As far as pizzas go, you’re only limited by your own imagination.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Screamer’s (@screamerspizzeria) on

The state of the restaurant industry is ever-evolving, but nothing could have prepared restaurant owners and operators for 2020. Download our State of the Restaurant Industry Report for 2020 menu, sales, and holiday trends, plus stories from restaurant owners who managed to grow sales despite the pandemic.

Download Now
Written by   |  
Stephanie is a Providence, RI native and eight-year food industry veteran. As Upserve's Content Marketing Coordinator she creates materials that help restaurateurs, managers, and service professionals succeed. When she's not writing, Stephanie is most likely traveling, cooking, or trying new restaurants.
Restaurant Insider