A good crust is a must with 91 percent of Americans agreeing that a bad crust can ruin a pizza, according to a nationwide survey conducted online by The Harris Poll and commissioned by General Mills Foodservice. In addition, more than three-quarters of Americans (80 percent) say they would pay more for a pizza with a high-quality crust.

The nationwide poll surveyed more than 2,000 US adults ages 18 and older to learn how they eat pizza and preferences related to pizza crusts when dining out or ordering from restaurants and foodservice operations.

“The survey demonstrates that the crust is truly the heart of the pizza,” says Paras Bansal, who analyzes consumer insights for General Mills Foodservice. “We learned that consumers are passionate about pizza crust, which indicates pizzerias and operators want to make sure they get it right to please their pizza-loving patrons and be more profitable with pizza.”

Results from the poll show consumers are more likely to eat pizza when dining out or ordering takeout if they know the pizza has a good crust (87 percent) and cite the top attributes of their favorite crust as having just the right taste/flavor (58 percent), thickness (51 percent), texture (38 percent), golden brown color (35 percent) and char (12 percent).

Additional findings include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) name pizza crust as the top reason they like their favorite pizza place.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72 percent) would be more interested in eating pizza at breakfast or lunch if they knew it had a good crust.
  • The most preferred texture of good pizza crust was dual texture-crispy on the outside, airy on the inside (33 percent), crispy (32 percent), followed by thin (29 percent), thick (26 percent) and airy/chewy (15 percent).
  • Hand-tossed/traditional is tops when it comes to favorite style of pizza crust when ordering/eating away from home (34 percent).
  • Americans’ favorite regional-style pizza is New York-style (36 percent), followed by Chicago deep-dish style (20 percent).

“A good crust is the heart of any great pizza yet it can be a challenge for many pizza makers to get consistent and quality results,” says Tom Santos, senior technical training specialist at General Mills Foodservice who also serves on the Doughminators™ team and specializes in helping pizza makers find the best crust solution to meet their needs. “We are here to help operators find the flour, dough or crust to give them peace of mind and help them serve pizza they can be proud of every time.”

General Mills Foodservice offers a multitude of pizza crust solutions for any back-of-house process including its expansive flour line-up, sheeted dough, READI RISE™ and parbaked options from the BONICI® and TNT Crust™ brands as well as the new Gold Medal™ All Trumps™ Dough Balls. Pizza makers are encouraged to visit General Mills Foodservice’s new digital pizza experience to get more information on the variety of pizza crust solutions available as well as technical resources and troubleshooting tips to overcome common crust challenges.