Who Eats The Most Pizza?

Ever met anyone who didn’t like pizza? Neither have I. It’s probably the most wildly successful and non-controversial globalised food export that has ever come out of any one country, in this case Italy. Sure, one could argue that cola and burgers can be found just about anywhere on the planet, although these items are maligned in some regions as ‘a manifestation of American imperialism’.

Nobody could ever accuse a slice of three-cheese pizza of corrupting young people’s morals or furthering anyone’s political objectives. Pizza is harmless, delicious, and endlessly customisable – just toss a couple of local ingredients on top and hey presto, that pizza is YOURS!

Japanese seaweed pizza... YUM!

Japanese seaweed pizza… YUM!

As for tackling the question posed in the headline, I may not be able to come up with a totally satisfying answer. What I can tell you, though, is who are the most avid consumers of frozen and chilled supermarket pizza, and who spends the most in pizza joints.

Frozen vs. chilled – no contest!
Frozen pizza is far more widely available (and far cheaper!) than chilled. In 2012, 1.4 million tonnes of frozen pizza where shifted by retailers, compared to just 332,000 tonnes of chilled.

Spain, the UK and France were the top global markets for chilled pizza, while in Russia, Hungary, Argentina ad Turkey, for example, this type of product is not available in supermarkets. In the US, chilled pizza sales are dwarfed by frozen: 473,000 tonnes vs 25,000 tonnes in 2012.

Although the US is the world’s leading frozen pizza market, its per capita consumption was a comparatively low 1.5kg per annum in 2012. Norway leads, with 4.4kg. Germany, Ireland, the UK and Austria are next in line. Italians mustered 0.9kg.

Scandinavians spend most on pizza fast food
Italy, despite appearing reluctant to fully embrace supermarket pizza, topped 2012 global per capita spending charts for takeaway/home delivery pizza, and Italians also splashed out the most in full-service pizza restaurants.

Sweden and Finland splurged top dollar, per capita, on pizza fast food, US$62.8 and US$58.7, respectively, followed by Canada, Switzerland and Israel. Italy came 5th, and the USA 9th, with a miserly US$8.4. But you have to remember that food, and especially fast food, is considerably cheaper in the US than it is in Scandinavia, so this doesn’t tell us much about the actual quantities scoffed.

China is fast developing a liking for takeaway pizza and for pizza restaurants, though you’d be hard pushed to find one in a supermarket. Why is this? Because Chinese kitchens are not habitually equipped with ovens. In such a densely populated country with sparse fuel resources, cooking has evolved to be quick and, above all, fuel efficient. Little ovens designed to be placed on a kitchen work surface that are suitable for heating up pizza are the preserve of comparatively well-off middle class consumers.

Got any pizza-related gems to share from your country? I’d love to hear your thoughts and anecdotes.

What is your most reviled pizza topping? I can’t stand pineapple on pizza. It just doesn’t belong there!!!

[For data source, click here]

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56 thoughts on “Who Eats The Most Pizza?

  1. Bastet

    Ah…I’ve been awaiting this one! Wasn’t surprised by the stats…here everyone goes out for or brings home a pizza from the pizzeria at least once a week! Now for the surprise…I hated pizza before I came to Italy…and I still don’t enjoy the “foreign” imitations, in the States for example their sauce is too garlicky (yuck!) and too close to a spaghetti sauce for my taste, we use strained tomatoes…and those are a particular type of tomatoes too… πŸ™‚

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I think most of us have our particular preferences. I, too, prefer Italian pizza. That ‘deep pan’ doughy stuff doesn’t quite do it for me. In Japan, you often get mayonnaise on top. Urgh.

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      1. ladyofthecakes Post author

        Nope πŸ˜‰ You’d be hard pushed to find that kind of thing in any restaurant anywhere! Except perhaps for a health food shop with an integrated foodservice facility.

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  2. ottominuti

    I love your food posts! I am of course an heavy consumer but I make my own thing and it tends to be my Sunday night meal. I prepare the dough in the late afternoon so I can use spelt, oat, barley and different sorts of flour and taaa-daaa, ten minutes to roll it out, add tomato sauce or whatever I am in the mood for and it’s in the oven. I’ve tried all the other sorts: chilled, frozen, fast-food style but I could never give up the homemade version. (unless I am in Naples of course).

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      1. perkstein

        Most pizza’s are from packets from newsagents, so they’re pretty grim! Also, I didn’t realise my last 2 comments had shown up due to dodgy internet, so now I look like I really need pizza. I need it, but not that much πŸ˜‰ x

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  3. Anna

    Moscow has good Italian-style pizza (thin crust, un-processed topics) but I really love – and terribly miss – a New York slice. Nothing else compares. Also, I have read that there is a Russian pizza called MOCKBA – ‘Moscow’ – that is topped with sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions. Luckily I have not yet seen this anywhere, and I think it’s just some strange urban legend.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Oh my, if you ever find that legendary adaptation, please take a pic for me!!
      There was such a great pizza place in my London neighbourhood… I miss it like crazy! Although it had bad coffee and crappy cakes. Can’t have it all πŸ˜‰

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      They are a terrific standby food, and so quick and easy to heat up.
      Bleurgh pineapple. On pizza. I like them just fine as a fruit or in fruity things where they belong.

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  4. TBM

    Never heard of chilled pizza and since I’m from America it seems that frozen is king. I used to live off of Ramen and cheap frozen pizzas in college. The worst pizza I have had was in Philly. We ordered a lasagna pizza–it had no cheese, some tomato sauce and was piled high with ground beef–no spices or anything in the beef. it was horrible. No cheese–that’s why you order a pizza!

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  5. Expat Eye

    Cool search term of the day – how to forget myself shameless big mistake and become normal again with cute,innocent nature and a clean mind πŸ™‚ Tee hee hee!

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      1. Expat Eye

        Might take a few days! Off to England on Wednesday and have a very busy day tomorrow getting ready for it – mainly as I did exactly nothing today πŸ˜‰

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  6. welliesandwickets

    I live for NYC pizza. I made a rule for myself that I would only go to the pizza place across the street on weekends or after midnight for an after drinking snack. I hope I can find something as good in London, but have yet to try any as the husband is gluten free so no pizza for him.

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