Our national obsession with all things pizza has resulted in what might be the ultimate American food: the pizzaburger.
pizzaburger - essentially a bacon cheeseburger wrapped in a pepperoni
pizza and cooked like a calzone - has begun showing up on menus at
Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar's 40 U.S. locations.
domestic roll-out follows a 250% rise in burger sales at the chain's
Canadian locations, called Boston's The Gourmet Pizza, after the
pizzaburger was launched there in the spring.
pretending that it's a healthy product," Brad Bevill, vice president of
marketing, says of the 1,360-calorie Pepperoni & Bacon Pizzaburger,
which comes packed with 2,000 milligrams of sodium. "You're talking
about a hamburger and pizza wrapped together."
Did we forget to mention that it's served with a garnish of lettuce, tomato and pickle?
this helps explain why pizza flavor has recently shown up in the most
unlikely products - from popcorn to sausage to candy.
advertising from national pizza chains gives the pizza flavor a high
profile with consumers," says Tom Vierhile, innovations insights
director at Datamonitor.
The real driver is America's love affair
with pizza. Sales at U.S. pizza restaurants topped $36 billion last year
- up nearly 4% from the year before, reports Packaged Facts food
industry tracker. Consider: 97% of U.S. adults eat pizza at least once a
year, and more than 27% eat it monthly.
That's one reason why the
head chef at Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar spent months
developing the pizza burger - which is cooked in an oven like pizza with
a precooked burger inside.
"Our cultural love of pizza stems from
our emotional connection to social consumption," Bevill says. "I'm
seeing lots of pizza tattoos on Instagram."
As a result, besides burgers, pizza is showing up in:
• Popcorn. Doc
Popcorn just rolled-out a gluten-free Poppin' Pizza popcorn, made with
whole-grain kernels and real cheese. The company uses 100% corn oil
and natural ingredients to make its snacks, says co-founder Rob Israel.
• Nutrition bars. In April, a new Pizza Marinara nutrition bar by Journey was introduced.
Early this summer, Eda's Sugarfree Candies rolled out Pizza is 4
Suckers, sugar-free, pizza-flavored hard candy. The slogan: "It's not
just a candy - it's a snack."
• Beer. While Mamma Mia!
Pizza Beer isn't new (it was developed in 2006), it's still getting
buzz. No, there's no pizza in the beer, but the brew is enhanced with a
special pizza flavoring. "In the end," says creator Tom Seefurth, "we
were pleasantly surprised this mess turned out to be the best thing
since the chocolate bumped into the guy with the peanut butter."
• Ice cream. Yes,
you may want to hold your noses, but Little Baby's Ice Cream in
Philadelphia sells a pizza-flavored ice cream - hold the sausage.