NEW YORK — How much pizza do you think you eat? A new poll finds you’re probably underestimating your love of cheesy ‘za! According to a national survey, the average American chows down on enough pizza each year to stuff a full-sized suitcase.
The state-by-state poll of 5,000 U.S. adults finds the average person can eat over half a pizza (5 slices) by themselves in a single sitting. In fact, Americans eat pizza three times in any given month — an equivalent of 180 potential slices in a single year.
The study also reveals more Americans prefer frozen, ready-to-bake-at-home pizza (30%) than they do eating fresh pizza in a restaurant (26%) or even delivery pizza (16%). Perhaps that’s why nearly half (48%) prefer pizza hot and fresh out of the oven.
Of course, the nation’s fascination with pizza goes far. Seventy-four percent would be satisfied eating it for any meal of the day and 69 percent actually like to eat it for breakfast. In fact, a quarter of the poll (25%) love pizza so much, they’d serve it at their wedding.
Pizza is also found to be the center of other celebrations and occasions, like Friday nights (64%), movie nights (64%), and graduations (57%).
Commissioned by Amazon Fresh and conducted by OnePoll, the study reveals not only the nation’s best and worst toppings but also unique insights on pizza-eating habits and what each state’s “perfect” pie looks like.
What makes a perfect pizza?
The nation’s “perfect” pizza is, on average: circular in shape (65%), thick crust (32%), and uses tomato sauce (61%). It’s then topped with mozzarella (59%), pepperoni (51%), sausage (42%), mushrooms (37%), and parmesan (37%).
Respondents say they also prefer their pie to come with parmesan (41%), red pepper flakes (32%), pepper (31%), or ranch (30%) on the side. Meanwhile, the worst toppings are avocado (39%), mac and cheese (36%), eggplant (36%), pineapple (27%), and fried chicken (26%).
How does your state take its pie?
Some stand-out states that kick the norms include Georgia — preferring square pizza topped with hot sauce. Illinois is sworn to the classic deep dish using vodka sauce, while New Hampshire is in love with bleu cheese and buffalo sauce toppings. On the other hand, Washington is a deep-dish-loving state with a liking for pesto sauce instead of tomato.
Arkansas was found to love cheese pizza the most: their perfect pie featured white cheese sauce, mozzarella, bleu cheese, parmesan toppings, and an extra layer of parmesan on top. Delaware also stood out for a bizarre combination of hot sauce and olive oil drizzled on a ricotta-topped pie.
States Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah all stood out as most likely to eat their pizza with a knife and fork.
Out of all the methods of receiving pizza, New Hampshire stood alone for preferring delivery over other options.
“Pizza is an American staple and it’s no surprise that people prefer so many different variations of the delicious meal,” says Head of Culinary Product Development at Amazon Fresh Private Brands, Melodie Beal, in a statement.
When eating leftover pizza, 35 percent prefer to reheat it in the microwave. Another 30 percent prefer to reheat it in the oven and 18 percent like to eat it cold. Seven in 10 (72%) would likely get themselves a half-and-half pizza when they can’t decide on what toppings to get.
“Gone are the days of the regular cheese slice! It’s interesting how many people would prefer to get a half-and-half pizza pie because they crave more than one flavor or can’t come to a decision with friends or family members,” continues Beal.
This random double-opt-in survey of 5,000 Americans, 100 from each state was commissioned by Amazon Fresh between July 25 and August 7, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).