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Customized pizza presents ‘huge’ white space among US Millennials and Gen Z, Pieology CEO said

Pieology's CEO believes the DIY pizza surpasses its frozen counterpart in quality. Pic:  Photo: Pieology

US pizza brand Pieology has added the PieRise Thick Crust to its extensive menu of personalized pizzas to capitalize on the demand from Millenials and Gen Z diners.

Pieology’s personally-inspired pizzas are sold through a retail dining setting, and has expanded to 134 stores across the US since the inception of the business in 2011.

CEO Carl Chang told BakeryandSnacks the California-headquartered franchise operates under a similar model as Subway and Chipotle and has experienced 50% year-on-year growth.

“Pizza has always been a passion of mine, and I wanted to create a place that would allow me to share that with my family, friends and the community,” he said.

Chang said creating the thick crust line was the result of requests from customers, as well as wanting to provide a new on-premise, carry-out or delivery experience.

“Pieology chef Scott Weaver and our franchisee leadership council spent a lot of time developing our PieRise Thick Crust,” he added.

The new crust will roll out in April and will cost an additional $1 compared to Pieology’s existing house-made original, house-made whole wheat, and gluten-free options.

Customization surpasses frozen bakery in quality

Chang believes the DIY pizza market presents an enormous opportunity with the way Millennials and Generation Z are redefining their dining experiences.

“The DIY pizza market right now has plenty of room to grow and develop over the next decade,” he said, adding the DIY pizza surpasses its frozen counterpart in quality.

“I think one of the largest differentiators is quality. At Pieology, quality focuses on the overall dining experience, not just the pizza.”

“Personalization is not going away. Consumers have come to expect control, and I think the growing popularity of cooking shows and contests have inspired and educated the inner chef in all of us,” he added.

“I created Pieology to serve as an outlet for that creativity.”

Staying relevant with target consumers

Despite the increasing trend of this category, Chang has warned that new players need to be cautious. 

“Whenever you give consumers free reign like we have done, you must be flexible and aware that there will be little structure. The ability to pivot and adapt is key to staying relevant with your target market,” he suggested.

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