Not surprisingly, a thin-crusted pepperoni pizza can put a smile on the face of just about any Pittsburgh native.
Research and strategy firm Campos, Inc. surveyed its VOICE of the Region panel, an online community of southwestern Pennsylvanians, and more than 900 locals responded to the poll, revealing that pizza in the Burgh is serious stuff. We’re devoted to our favorite dough flipping chefs, and we know what we want when it comes to our cheesy wheels.
Just take, for example, how we order our pizzas. While 43 percent of us like to order and then pick up, 28 percent are content to have it delivered to the door.
“That stuck out to me,” says Marty McGough, vice president of market insight for Campos.
His guess why?
“Maybe people place their order and pick it up on their way home from work.” Or it may be that Pittsburghers, being the friendly bunch that we are, just don’t mind driving an average of 4.6 miles to drop in at one of our many neighborhood pizza spots.
And with so many great local shops, it’s no surprise that 68 percent of us order from an independent merchant more than half the time over a national chain. Only 20 percent of us choose the national pizza chain’s brand more than half the time.
When it comes to toppings, our tastes reflect those of the majority of the county. But this local poll factors in extra cheese as a topping – important news to the 8 percent of us who rank cheese as the best added choice for our wedges.
“We found out after we conducted the poll that other markets don’t consider it a topping,” says McGough.
Regardless, a vast majority of us like to embellish our pizzas – only 5 percent go for a plain pie. Pepperoni came out the clear winner, preferred by 42%, with mushrooms and sausage as the faves for 18 and 12 percent respectively.
The poll also says we are pretty easy going about our crust. Twenty-four percent equally enjoy it thick or thin (but 37 percent select thin if given the choice).
“The sentiments of the people who live here are fairly representative of the sentiments across the country. It’s a good test laboratory,” says McGough. “We’ve been conducting a number of these polls (on other fun topics such as dogs, cats and beer) to engage our panel members.”
Most of the response came from 35- to 54-year-olds (40 percent) while another 36 percent were 55 and up.
“We’re really happy with the distribution. We got some pretty interesting stuff … and who doesn’t want to talk about pizza?” he says.