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Pizza and marketing: a journey among tradition and innovation

Pizza is much more than a dish: it’s a culinary icon that has won the hearts of millions of people from all around the world. International Pizza Day, celebrated every year, provides a great opportunity to explore the crucial role marketing played in promoting and establishing this delicacy. 

Pizza’s appeal

Pizza is a dish that blends, with its soft and crunchy base, melted cheese with a variety of delicious ingredients. Its versatility allows it to satisfy even the most demanding palate, from traditionalists to culinary researchers. Marketing plays a vital role in making pizza a tried and true culinary experience, by communicating its appeal through different strategies. Complicit and curious food bloggers and chefs who are becoming more and more present on television. It’s a food that garners an audience, but also “spicchi e rotelle” , a form of recognition awarded to the best pizzerias by the Italian restaurant chain Gambero Rosso.

Tradition and innovation in service of marketing

Marketing pizza entails finding a balance between tradition and innovation, blending the love for classic recipes with the excitement of daring creations. Classic pizzerias, often run by families with recipes passed down for generations, lean on authenticity and nostalgia to garner customers. On the other hand, newer pizzerias focus on innovation, introducing unusual ingredients, creative cooking methods and enticing presentations to conquer new palates. Social media plays a crucial part in marketing pizza, offering a platform to share appetizing images, exciting reviews and special offers. Pizzerias can bring together the community through online competitions, customer preference questionnaires and direct interactions, creating a deeper bond between the consumer and the brand. 

Brand personality and personal success stories

 Success within this sector is not necessarily limited to the product’s taste, but is also tied to the creation of a strong brand identity. Successful pizzerias often create captivating stories that narrate their recipes origin, the attention to quality ingredients and their dedication to customer satisfaction. These tales not only capture the audience’s imagination, but create a sense of connection and loyalty to the brand. The building itself helps create an atmosphere within the pizzeria and attract more people. Oven masters and master pizza makers create their own strong and recognisable brand identity. From Sorbillo to Bonci passing through Franco Pepe. 

The pizzeria itself brings likes and success not only to pizza makers, but also to all of those who decide to celebrate this day by sharing pictures on social-media: politicians, influencers, singers and TikTokers. Lest we forget the famous “regenerating pizza” by Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni, a meme which is laughed about even by the influencer herself. There are also numerous scenes in movies that have showcased this main character within Italian cuisine. Julia Roberts in “Eat, Prey Love” renounces her perfect figure for the love of good food and pizza. Even in animated films and television we can find images of pizza: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles famously only eat pizza and have a van that can shoot it. 

Pizza: between marketing and made in Italy

International pizza day not only gives people the opportunity to eat an extra pie, but also offers an opportunity to reflect on the crucial role marketing plays in determining the dish’s success on a global scale. Originally conceived as a simple dish within popular tradition, pizza has transformed into a gourmet delicacy due to a blend of innovation and respect for its roots, bringing joy in every bite (A concrete example of “pizza-happiness” is the Coca-Cola ad, which has deliberately associated it’s drink with the dish, creating a perfect combination of flavours). Pizza isn’t only synonymous with good food, it represents communities coming together and generations of success stories. Thanks to marketing’s continuous intervention, pizza has gone from a common dish to an unforgettable culinary experience. Between the pleasant taste and a well defined strategy, pizza preserves its status as queen of the dinner table, uncontested symbol of “Made in Italy”.

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Erika Zaffalon

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