Clever positioning helps pizza chains succeed in slow economy

Posted by Isobel Drake on 29th September 2009

A number of pizza chain operators are finding success through a strategy of focused positioning, according to US-based foodservice industry consultant Technomic. In Australia, some of our most prominent makerds have been reporting stronger sales while a number of up-and-coming franchises are making their mark as fast-food outlets weather the storm.

The American research showed that the fastest growing chains are characterised by strong differentiation.

“Most successful pizza chains have staked out highly-defined market positions that allow them to stand out from the pack,” Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic, advised. “The key to growth in the slow economy will be differentiation. Top players will have to understand the competition, successfully identify emerging trends, and find and execute a strong position in the market.”

Some trends, chains and products highlighted in the report include:

* Value: Little Caesar’s $5 Hot-N-Ready – driving sales with low price offerings
* Healthy: Pizza Fusion, “Fresh, Organic and Earth Friendly” – looking to more wholesome ingredients is a trend noted around the pizza world
* Complimentary catering: Pizza Hut’s Pasta to Go – expanding the menu to capture a larger market

Other trends seen were the option to bake-at-home and improvements to the in-store environment.