American's pizza obsession

Americans love pizza. Two-thirds have eaten pizza within the past week (65%). Nine-in-ten consumers say they love it or like it (91%), making pizza America's #1 favorite food.

Pizza is seeing lots of innovation. It's breaking out of the traditional dinner daypart and finding its way onto breakfast menus. Operators are going beyond tradition sausage and pepperoni and incorporating new flavors and premium food ingredients.

Consumers are looking for adventure and discovery with new types of pizza. 80% of consumers wish their local pizzerias would offer more premium, innovative toppings. Around half of consumers say they're interested in Roman-style pizza, a regional variety characterized by its thick, soft, air crust that's cut into rectangular slices with scissors (when in America, do as the Romans do).

If you thought that there were only a few styles of pizza in America, you are mistaken. Here are the 28 different styles currently feeding American's pizza obsession.

28 Killer Styles Feeding America's Pizza Obsession

Bagel - This is simply traditional pizza toppings (tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni) on a (usually) toasted bagel

Chain - It's Domino's. It's Pizza Hut. It's Papa Johns. Essentially, it's "fast food pizza."

Breakfast - Breakfast pizza commonly features potatoes, bacon and/or sausage, cheese and a cracked, egg on top.

Greek - Most prevalent in New England & the Midwest, it's a pan-style pizza with soft, doughy crust & a crispy bottom.

Californian - Generally wood-fired & single-serve, similar to Neapolitan. But California pizza is all about the toppings often ultra-fresh ingredients & things like broccoli & fennel.

Grilled-This non-traditional pie is grilled over hot coals. The dough will take several turns before toppings are added after the last flip It's super-crunchy, kind of oily, often quite

Lahmajoun - Also known as Turkish or Armenian pizza, it's an extremely thin, round flatbread layered with ground beef or lamb, minced vegetables, & spices.

Indian - Indian Pizza simply denotes a pizza that swaps standard toppings flavor-packed Indian foods like saag paneer, tandoori chicken, fenugreek & chutney.

Colorado Mountain Pie - A massive pizza with a honey-kissed, doughy crust loaded with so many toppings they have to create a folded-over containment wall around the crust just to keep it all in.

Roman - rectangular trays of a light, airy crust with a bread-like interior. The toppings range from simply, a thin layer of tomato sauce or olive oil & sea salt to sliced potatoes, zucchini or prosciutto.

Deep Dish- Born in Chicago, this hearty pizza is baked in a high-sided pan & contains a staggering payload of cheese & toppings, with the sauce, spices & parmesan on top.

Sicilian - Thick, focaccia-like crust with a crunchy exterior & airy interior. It was originally served with just sauce and a dusting of cheese, though it's become more Americanized.

Detroit - Rectangular with Wisconsin brick cheese giving the edge a crunch that gives to a fluffy, thick crust. The cheese goes first, and sauce tops it. And it's having a moment, with pizzerias nationwide adopting it.

New Haven - This pizza is recognizable for its charred crust & knobby, asymmetrical appearance. The pies are topped with sparse hits of tomatoes, cheese, meats, & in many cases white sauce & clams.

French Bread - it's simply pizza toppings thrown on a split baguette, then tossed in the oven until it's bubbly and extra crispy.

Stuffed Crust - This pizza's crust is stuffed full of chewy, stretchy mozzarella cheese. It's that simple.

New York - Hand-tossed, round pies with a thin(ish), crispy crust, a light layer of heavily seasoned tomato sauce, topped with gooey, mozzarella cheese, and served by the slice..

Sushi - An array of renditions have popped up, but the basic premise is: pile traditional sushi ingredients -- t spicy tuna, avocado, tobiko -- onto rice that has been shaped into a circle, slice into triangles & serve.

Old Forge - It looks like a thick, Sicilian pie, inside a deep-dish tray ( NEVER call this a "pie," it is a tray. They will yell at you). The dough is a little lighter than traditional deep-dish and has a distinctly chewy center.

Stunt Pizza - This pizza seeks to create that extra "wow" factor that moves the imagination & accumulates Instagram likes. Think topping a pizza crust with mac & cheese or using a pizza as a base for a platter of tacos.

Quad Cities - These round pies are cut into strips using scissors. It's also got a malt-heavy crust that gives it a nutty quality, a spicy sauce, and toppings hidden under an extremely thick layer of cheese.

St. Louis - a cracker-thin, overloaded, square-sliced round pie topped with oregano & Provel, a cultishly beloved processed blend of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone that some liken to Velveeta in consistency.

Neapolitan - This is pizza as it was originally intended. The crust is soft & easy to chew, with a hint of crunch and often dough bubbles. It's topped with tomatoes, herbs, veggies, a thin layer of red sauce, & a little cheese.

Tavern - A ridiculously thin-crust pizza served in a circular shape (but cut into squares) with toppings greatly varying by location and preference, Itis a brew-pub staple across the country, particularly in Chicago & the Midwest.

Ohio Valley - a thin crust, square-cut pizza that is topped with cheese & pepperoni… after they leave the oven, so cheese & meats are cold. This hot-cold sensation is unlike anything else on this list.

Tomato Pie - It's relatively thick, square, & commonly served luke-warm with the bottom relatively soft, and not charred. But the big thing about Philly-style tomato pie, is the total absence of cheese.

Fried - There are two main styles: pizza fritte, which is essentially a fried calzone, & montanara, flash-fried dough is topped with sauce & cheese & baked at super-high heat. Resulting in a pizza that is not oily, but has a pillowy crust

Trappazina - Chefs snip away at the corners of soft pizza bianca, creating a triangular, hand-held bread pocket, then fill the opening traditional recipes like chicken cacciatore and stewed oxtail. It is then slipped into a paper sheath & eaten on the go.

Source: Thrillist: 29 Killer Styles Feeding America's Pizza Obsession.

Consumer loyalty to pizza restaurants is strong. Half of consumers order from the same pizza restaurant regardless of deals at other pizzerias. Below are the top five reasons they choose one pizza restaurant over another.

Not only is pizza popular, but there are increasing sales for its cousin, flatbread (pizzas). Around two-fifths of consumers view flatbread as being a more premium or upscale option compared to regular pizza and around a third believe flatbreads tend to have more unique toppings. Flatbreads deliver artisanal flair and a perception of healthier eating. They are also considered more of an appetizer or small plate option.

The rapid expansion of what are known as fast-casual pizza chains has raised the bar on consumers' expectations not only about quality, but also customization. These national chains, where you customer order your pizza, watch it being assembled fresh (like at a Chipotle) and get in usually five minutes, includes Blaze Pizza, Pie Five Pizza, Mod Pizza, PizzaRev, Uncle Maddio's and Pieology.

Implications for CLVs

Americans' expectations are now exceedingly high for pizza. Using frozen or parbaked crusts and limited topping options is no longer an acceptable standard. Americans now expect to find unique, from-scratch, hand-crafted, customized epicurean quality pizzas.