Pepperoni was found to be the favorite meat topping on pizzas by nearly 40% of U.S. consumers surveyed, with sausage pulling down 20% in second place. Third place overall went to Canadian bacon, with a 9% consumer preference rating, followed closely by chicken, ground beef, bacon and ham, in that order.
Despite the fact that pepperoni was the clear leader in topping choices nationwide, an equally important factor is that the report also shows that while all types of meat pizza toppings have fans in every area of the country, other specific meat toppings do have significant numbers of their own fanatical followers in completely different regions of the nation. By analyzing and understanding the regional trends in the different target markets around the nation, food industry professionals might be better able to plan and develop menus and recipes in their own geographic locations.
Taking a look at the reported numbers shows that while some of the rankings were consistent, there were also some surprising regional preferences. Few people would guess that pepperoni was actually only slightly more preferred than sausage in the Midwestern states. In fact, sausage was preferred topping in the Mid West by two to one when compared with areas in the Southern states. Canadian bacon was the clear third choice in all regions except the Northeast where only 25% of consumers appreciated that topping. Chicken has its largest number of fans in the Western states and chicken also beat out Canadian bacon for third among Northeasterners. Among all consumers surveyed, those in the Mid West were the most democratic about their favorite pizza toppings. Midwestern pizza consumers were the only group surveyed to be likely to prefer all seven different meat toppings equally.