It may sound silly, but there are many researchers out there who study pizza trends–particularly the most popular pizza toppings. That's because pizza is, undoubtedly, such a large part of American life.
It's how we celebrate, it's part of our relaxation routine, and it's a comfort food when we are sad. In America alone, 93% of individuals eat pizza each month. Surveys show that Americans consume an average of 46 slices per year each. Just below half of all Americans, or 40%, eat pizza on a weekly basis. That's a lot of pizza.
Of course, with pizza orders comes the endless possibility of topping combinations. Some people are meat-lovers and load their pies up with meatballs and sausage, pepperoni and ham. Others love veggies and pile their cheesy creations with peppers and onions, eggplant, or spinach and olives. There's really no way that you can go wrong.
But what are the most popular pizza toppings? Are there some that are favored more than others? Of course, there are. Some people swear by adding sardines to their pies, but that's not the norm. Here are the 10 most popular pizza toppings in the United States.
Most Popular Pizza Toppings
To start off with some basic statistics, research shows that 62% of pizza lovers across the United States prefer meat on top of their pies, while 38% prefer veggies. That's not to say that some people don't mix and match; we know that many certainly do.
This may not come as a surprise, but pepperoni is by far the most popular pizza topping in the United States. It's added to 36% of all pies, and Americans consume more than 250 MILLION pounds of pepperoni annually.
2. Extra Cheese
Also a classic, many Americans order extra cheese on their pies. Here at Hungry Howie's®, we can't blame them. Our 100% mozzarella cheese is to die for. Hot, melty, and oh-so-satisfying, it's hard to say no to an order of extra cheese on your pizza.
While mushrooms give many the "eek" factor, they are actually the third most popular pizza topping in the United States. This may be because they go well with both veggie and meat pies, adding extra flavor to whatever delicious creation they top.
Another surprise on the list, onions rank right after mushrooms in terms of popularity. Again, this may be since they complement both veggie and meat-topped pizzas, adding a slight crunch and a fresh taste.
You likely guessed that sausage would make the list, and it comes in at number 5. It's often combined with meatballs, pepperoni, and even bacon. Individuals also love to pair it with toppings such as green peppers and black olives. You can order it sweet or spicy, depending on your mood.
6. Black Olives
Olives are a topic of much debate. You either love them or hate them. But even if you're not a fan, they still make the top ten pizza topping list. Included on many "supreme" and "deluxe" pizzas, they're considered standard when you're ordering a pie with all the extras. In fact, if you want to stay away from the little black slices you may have to ask your local pizza joint to leave them off when ordering the special pie.
7. Green Peppers
By now you may be surprised to find that so many veggies are making the list, when 62% of Americans state they prefer meat toppings. It's probably because Pepperoni and Sausage make up such a large percent that the veggies are added after in so many combinations.
That's right folks, possibly the most divisive pizza topping of all time, pineapple is the 8th most popular pizza topping in the United States. It pairs well with ham, bacon, and savory cheese. We're guessing that it makes the list because pineapple pizza lovers tend to be die-hard fans.
Another underdog that's coming out on top is spinach. Spinach goes well on white pies, with extra garlic, and on veggie pizzas. If you're looking to add a little green to your pie, we suggest you give it a try.
10. No Topping at All
We're not sure if this order actually comes in last, but it's worth noting that nearly one out of every three pizzas in the United States is ordered as-is. That means 33% of individuals order a plain pie, just cheese, no extras. While we're all for toppings here at Hungry Howie's®, we also can't blame you for sticking with the classic. Every pizza is perfect, toppings or not.
We gave a good overview of the most popular pizza toppings in the United States, some of which we're surprised to see ourselves. But there are a few honorable mentions. First, we'd like to recognize anchovies as America's least favorite pizza topping. For all you anchovy lovers out there, we still have your backs.
Another honorable mention is that a significant portion of orders request "half and half" toppings. Half pepperoni half plain is the most common, followed by half pepperoni half extra cheese. Since these two toppings top the list in popularity, it may not come as a surprise.
Order Your Favorite Toppings Tonight
By now your mouth is probably watering as you dream of your favorite pizza topping. Bring home a Hungry Howie's® pie tonight to share with the family, or keep to yourself. Whatever toppings you order, we stand behind you. Every pizza is perfect and we love to see the unique combinations our customers come up with.
Order pizza online or give us a call for delivery or carry-out.