Innovative Ways to Unlock the Marketing Potential of Your Pizza Box

For pizzerias everywhere, the pizza box plays an important role in takeout and delivery. It is responsible for keeping the pizza hot and intact, which is a crucial element to the customer’s dining experience. The average customer spends at least ten minutes engaging with the pizza box, so it is vital that pizzerias take advantage of this marketing opportunity. This can be a way to communicate your brand’s message and differentiating points.

Here are a few ways to use your pizza box to increase customer engagement and grow sales:

  1. Label Health Benefits

Nutritional labeling information such as calories is required by the FDA for standard items, but pointing out ingredients that are organic or harvested locally helps make your pizza box stand out from the rest and gives reassurance to health-conscious customers. 

  • Stand Out!

Instead of using your typical design, get creative and use compelling graphics and colors to show consumers why your pizzeria is different and better than the rest. 

  • Enhance Customer Value

By offering box coupons or a chance to earn a free pizza, you are giving your customers an incentive to return to your restaurant. Including a hard copy of the menu or highlighting specialty items will familiarize your customers with all your delicious offerings.

  • Encourage Customer Interaction

Social media is such an important part of marketing, so use it to get customers more involved. Create a hashtag paired with a giveaway offer to encourage customers to share photos. Your pizza is bound to become a backdrop for many social media posts!

  • Communicate a Purpose

Designate a portion of your box to show your company’s support towards meaningful causes. This will lead to customers connecting with your pizzeria on an emotional level, driving brand loyalty. 

  • Serve Up History

The “handcrafted” look is a popular trend that creates nostalgia among consumers. Use stories of your beginnings to forge that bond with your customers. 

  • Highlight Recyclability

Recycling has become an incredibly important part of our society to help the planet. You can insert corrugated liners to help keep pizza boxes cleaner, increasing box recyclability. Highlighting eco-friendly components of the box or providing recycling tips are opportunities to show your sustainability efforts. 

When searching for a supplier for your boxes, consider the company’s ability to customize, where it sources materials, and their supply chain capabilities. Select a supplier willing to be a partner in communicating your brand’s message!

The third annual Real California Pizza Contest is on for 2021! We are looking for the top professional chefs and pizzaiolos to craft delicious pizza recipes using Real California Cheese. Interested? Contact us to learn more, and stay tuned for more information!

For useful content about the pizza industry, be sure to visit PMQ.

Cal-Mex: Top Culinary Trend from the Golden State

From fresh and fast to nuanced and nostalgic, Mexican cuisine is more popular than ever before. Though Americans sometimes think of “Mexican food” as having one distinct flavor profile, traditional Mexican cooking encompasses a tremendous range of ingredients, styles and flavors.

Today, leading-edge chefs are satisfying the appetite for authentic foods and flavors and showing that traditional Mexican cooking can reflect an almost endless variety of ingredients and creative interpretations. In addition, over the years, as cooks in the U.S. interpreted beloved Mexican recipes, interesting hybrid flavors and forms emerged and coalesced into regional styles of cooking.

One of these American regional cuisines is Tex-Mex, a subtype of Southwestern cuisine that originated with the Tejano people of Texas. Tex-Mex food is known for a heartiness and distinctive flavor associated with a heavy use of shredded cheese, “ranch meats” including beef, pork and goat and the addition of non-traditional spices such as cumin to traditionally used Mexican peppers and spices.

As Tex-Mex was evolving in the Southwest, another cuisine was on the rise in a state known for setting the trends that spread across the country. In contrast with Tex-Mex, Cal-Mex, a fusion of California cuisine and traditional Mexican cooking, is known for fresh and seasonal ingredients, lighter proteins and plant-forward dishes, as well as new takes on Mexican regional dishes like tacos gobernadores, tlayudas and alambres.

Just as “Mexican chiles” advanced in the American culinary imagination from jalapenos and habaneros to chipotles, pasillas, ghost peppers and more, in Cal-Mex dishes, dairy is a star ingredient that has helped Cal-Mex cuisine evolve beyond the old-school “smothered in melted Cheddar” approach to encompass a growing variety of Hispanic-style cheeses and cremas. These dairy ingredients are the perfect complement to the lighter fish, seafood and meats, brighter citrus flavors and fresh fruits (including avocados, melons, mango, kiwi and papaya), so often featured in Cal-Mex’s reinvented Mexican dishes.

Just as the ranches in Texas were a foundation for Tex-Mex cooking, the California dairy industry—in existence for more than 250 years—played a symbiotic role in the development of Cal-Mex-style cuisine. Today, California is the leading U.S. producer of Hispanic-style dairy products, providing flavorful products with consistent quality in varieties like semisweet requeson (a Hispanic version of ricotta used in Cal-Mex salads, dips and cooked foods and desserts) and asadero (a mild and firm cheese eaten “as is” on Cal-Mex sandwiches and melted in cooked dishes). With healthier menus on the rise, Cal-Mex classics such as fish tacos with cotija and crema can now be found on menus from West to East and, though not considered a Hispanic-style cheese, Monterey Jack, a popular variety of cheese that originated in California, is an indispensable ingredient in Cal-Mex quesadillas and enchiladas. Other California Hispanic-style favorites commonly used as the cornerstones of Cal-Mex cooking include queso fresco, queso blanco, panela and Oaxaca.

From community favorites to cutting-edge concepts, diners can now find Cal-Mex restaurants throughout California, and, increasingly, across the country. With them, California Hispanic-style cheeses are becoming more and more popular as Cal-Mex gains an increasingly important voice in the culinary conversation.

Pizza is the perfect item to bring the authentic flavors of Cal-Mex to the menu in 2021. Hispanic-style cheeses from California form the perfect foundation to tastefully delight customers with innovative recipes featuring a Latin-flavor profile. In addition, the continuation of the pandemic continues to place a premium on delivery and takeout, which is ideally suited for pizza.

Deliver your customers a bite into the Cal-Mex trend with fresh, Hispanic-style cheeses from California!

2019 RCPC Category Winner Helps Feed Hospital Employees

Chicago chef and 2019 RCPC Winner Giovanni Labbate is going above and beyond to take care of essential workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 16th and 17th, Labbate brought his pizza truck, Billy Bricks on Wheels 2, to the AMITA Health St Alexis Hospital in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. This kind act was supported by the “Plating Change” program spearheaded by Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s popular show, “The Profit”. This program is “challenging Americans to give back to their local restaurants and help those who are food insecure” through the pandemic.

The “Plating Change” program will be run through the recently launched The Lemon Aid Foundation, which received a $50 million dollar pledge from Lemonis in an effort to support underserved communities and small businesses.

The Lemon Aid Foundation has partnered with GrubHub to help carry out the “Plating Change” program. GrubHub will play a significant role in helping the program give back to the World Central Kitchen by purchasing meals and driving revenue for independent restaurants as well as providing free meals for communities in need. These actions are underway in large metro areas such as New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia.

Labbate won the All-Cheese category during the inaugural Real California Pizza Contest with his delicious entry, Harvest, in 2019.

For more information about this story, please click here and read on at Pizza Today.

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