PIZZA BRANDS CONTINUE GLOBAL EXPANSION
Take a bite out of these regional pizza favorites.
Sam Christopher Lim
SVP, Francorp Philippines
Thanks to the movements of the Italian diaspora, Italian cuisine has gained wide acceptance all over the world. While it’s hard to turn down a plate full of pasta, it’s even much harder to turn down a slice of pizza. (Recently, it’s even been found that pizza is a better motivator at work than monetary incentives!)
Indeed, pizza remains one of the pillars of the food service industry’s global foothold. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, pizza chains now represent nearly 5 percent of global consumer food service sales, and now account for US$124 billion in global spending. Euromonitor adds that Asian markets exhibit great potential for effective segmentation in the pizza market, even citing homegrown pizza brand Greenwich as a growing force to be reckoned with in the Philippines.
From traditional full-service pizza parlors to artisanal gourmet pizza, here are some international favorites out to take the global pizza market by storm.
A slice of the Big Apple at your doorstep
New York, also known as “the Big Apple,” is a city known for its fast-paced urban lifestyle. But, thanks to Italian immigrants, New York has also been known for its pizza which boasts of big flavors and big servings. It is this same New York-style pizza experience which Yellow Cab aims to deliver at every doorstep.
From the no-fuss selection of pizza toppings, down to the speedy pizza delivery service using iconic yellow Vespa scooters, Yellow Cab has garnered a huge following and has successfully positioned itself as a quick casual restaurant to beat internationally.
And since Yellow Cab is all about the good stuff, it only uses fresh and premium quality ingredients for its signature pizza and pasta offerings. Yellow Cab’s signature flavors, such as the ricotta cheese and roasted garlic perfection found in the Dear Darla rolled pizza or the nutty-spicy goodness of the Charlie Chan chicken pasta, are often imitated but are never rivaled in taste.
With over 120 stores in the Philippines, Qatar, UAE & Saudi Arabia, Yellow Cab continues to spread its New York-style pizza experience all over the world, planning 15 stores in China and dozens more across the globe.
Pizza fun for the whole family
Shakey’s is recognized the world over not just for being the first pizza franchise chain from the United States, but also for having the world’s greatest and most-loved thin crust pizza—with a side of chicken and mojos, to boot.
For the past 62 years, Shakey’s has left its mark as the pizza brand which celebrates fun times with friends and family. Spacious pizza parlors decked with arcades and play areas make Shakey’s appealing to both adults and children alike. It is this focus on fun times with the family which has enabled Shakey’s to become the market leader in traditional full-service pizza chains and family-style casual dining.
Even after decades of success, Shakey’s is showing no signs of slowing down. Now with 500 stores worldwide, with established presence in the United States, Japan, Philippines and Mexico, Shakey’s is now setting its sights for further expansion in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.
The freedom to create artisan pizza everyday
When serial restaurateur James Markham founded Project Pie in 2011, he wanted to give customers the freedom to create taste. Since then, Project Pie has positioned itself as a fast-casual restaurant where customers can custom-build their own pizzas using a wide selection of sauces and toppings.
Incorporating an assembly line counter, the Project Pie crew will then assist customers as they assemble their own custom-build pizza creations. The diverse selection of sauces and toppings on hand can be quite intimidating at first, but don’t fret—Project Pie also came up with a set of seven classic pizza flavors you can choose from when the build-your-own pizza concept gets a little overwhelming. This build-your-own concept has since gone beyond pizza and has been extended to Project Pie’s selection of salads and pastas as well.
Today, this relatively young custom-build artisanal pizza concept from the United States is holding its own in the global pizza market. Project Pie has already established its presence in the United Kingdom & the Philippines but wants to further expand in the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian markets.
While pizza is distinctly Italian in taste and origin, pizza brands such as Yellow Cab, Shakey’s, and Project Pie always make it a point to adapt to the changing taste preferences of the diverse markets they are in. Adapting to the changing needs of local markets, backed by dynamic and engaging marketing campaigns, only serves to ensure the continued global success of these pizza brands.
Sam Christopher Lim is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy at franchise consultancy Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales & Management; and chairperson and director for special projects for Asean integration at the Philippine Franchise Association.