Pepperoni Wins Among Pizza Lovers

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Pepperoni Wins Among Pizza Lovers


NEW YORK — Pizza, from thin crust to meat lovers, is undoubtedly one of Americans’ favorite foods to consume. A recent Harris Poll sought to find out what Americans like, don’t like, and where they find the best pizza.

The survey revealed that pepperoni takes the cake when it comes to consumers’ favorite pizza topping, while anchovies rank first on the list of least favorite toppings.

When it comes to the great debate over New York style vs. Chicago deep dish, poll participants overall said New York was the best state to find a good slice, while Illinois took second place.

The survey also revealed:

The Favorites. Although pepperoni takes the top spot when it comes to toppings, sausage and mushrooms rank second and third, while a simple cheese pizza ranks fourth.

Onions take fifth place, olives sixth and bacon seventh, while ham/Canadian bacon and pineapple tie for eighth place, and peppers round out the top 10.

The Foundation. While toppings may be the cherry on top, consumers say a solid foundation can make or break the meal. When it comes to crust style, 29 percent prefer thin crust; 18 percent prefer regular crust; 15 percent like deep dish; and 14 percent favor stuffed crust (also the No.1 choice among millennials).

Fewer than 10 percent prefer thick crust (9 percent), French bread (4 percent) or Sicilian (3 percent).

Only 6 percent say they have no preference when it comes to crust type, and 2 percent say they don’t eat pizza at all.

The Least Favorites. Anchovies rank No. 1 as consumers’ least favorite pizza topping. The top 5 is rounded out by mushrooms, pineapples, onions and olives. Pepperoni is ranked the sixth least favorite; peppers and sausage come in seventh and eighth; meat in general takes the No. 9 spot; and plain pizza rounds out the least favorite list.

Where to Find the Best. New York and Illinois take the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively. California comes in at No. 3 for the best place to find pizza.

However, rankings change when looking across the specific regions, according to Harris Poll. Easterners stick to the East Coast when it comes to their favorite spot, with New York ranking first, followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the Midwest, consumers maintain Illinois has the best pizza and vote New York as second, followed by Ohio and Michigan in a tie for third place.  

For those in the South, consumers jump all over the map. They rank New York first, Illinois second, and Texas third.

Finally, in the West, consumers seem to stick to their roots, with California coming in at No. 1, followed by New York and Illinois.

The Preferred Way to Wash It Down. Among consumers who drink alcohol at least a few times a year, a majority say they prefer to wash down their pizza with a nice, cold beer (54 percent). Non-craft domestic beer came in at No. 2 (29 percent), followed by craft beer (24 percent) and import beer (23 percent).

Two out of 10 consumers (20 percent) say they’re more likely to choose a glass of wine with their pizza. Drinkers are less likely to choose flavored malt beverages (9 percent), liquor or cocktails (9 percent), or hard cider (8 percent). And two in 10 (21 percent) prefer to skip alcohol altogether when consuming a slice.

While beer is the No. 1 choice overall, Westerners are more likely to turn to wine compared to any other region (30 percent vs. 16 percent in the South, 15 percent in the Midwest and 18 percent in the East). 

The full Harris Poll pizza results can be found here.