Hormel Just Made Some Bold Predictions About The Future Of Pizza Topping Trends

If you've ever tried to order a pizza for a group, it's no easy feat. Everyone seems to possess strong feelings about what does and doesn't belong on a pizza pie. One wants pepperoni, while another prefers ham. Some want just a smidgeon of sauce; others want it slathered. A few feel the need to revisit the perennial pineapple pizza debate. And just when they're ready to bang some heads together, they find something they can agree on: No one wants anchovies. 

Yes, it seems that people feel just as strongly about their favorite pizza topping as they do about what box they'll be ticking on an election ballot. Thankfully, there are some universally popular pizza toppings that most can agree upon. According to YouGov, America's top five ingredients are pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, extra cheese, and onions, while the most loathed are anchovies, eggplant, artichokes, broccoli, and pineapple. Hormel Foods contends, however, that pizza-loving taste buds across the nation may soon develop a hankering for some novel ways to dress their pizza pies — and some of the company's predicted trends may surprise you. 

Plant-based meats will be coming to a pizza near you

Hormel Foods — which owns brands like Planters and Skippy — has also introduced a product line called Happy Little Plants, a variety of plant-based pepperoni, meatballs, and other pizza toppings for use at pizzerias. Why? In a press release about pizza topping trends, the company predicts that customers are interested in trying new meat alternatives — and it appears that the team may be on the right track. People claims that a poll of 2,000 pizza lovers showed that 73% of meat lovers and 81% of veggie lovers would try plant-based toppings. Hormel's vegan-friendly toppings are currently available at restaurants in San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Another hot trend that Hormel says is on the rise is fried pizza. Following the advent of the fried Mars bar, this should come as no big surprise. Called Montanara-style pizza, the dough is fried before being showered with toppings. A TikTok user tried this with Trader Joe's dough, and with 675,000 likes and counting on the video, the method could very well blow up according to Hormel's suspicions.

Citrus is upping the acidity of pizza

Up until now, the easiest way to increase the acidity of a pizza was to add more tomato. Hormel, however, believes that pizzaiolos across the nation will soon be turning to citrus fruits to add a more acidic flair to their creations. Considering the availability of lemon-based pizza recipes on offer by celebrity chefs like Martha Stewart and Giada De Laurentiis, the company may be on to something. Pizza makers can add lemon to their vegetable, cheese, or seafood pizza creations using zest, juice, and/or whole slices with the seeds removed.

Hormel Foods also foresees potato on pizza becoming a regular thing. Originating in Italy, this pizza style is known as pizza con patate, which, traditionally, lacks both sauce and cheese but includes salt and rosemary. Thankfully for lovers of more ingredients, some variations of potato pizza do opt for sauce, cheese, or both — like Jamie Oliver's recipe. If starch on starch is your thing, this potential trend should make you happy. 

Nashville is emerging as a pizza haven

The fifth and final prediction that Hormel has made about the future of pizza is that an up-and-coming pizza pie capital is emerging. Yes, the Windy City will always be the land of Chicago deep dish pizza deliciousness, and New York City will forever be renowned for its heavenly, hand-tossed crust. However, Hormel contends that Nashville is taking the pizza world by storm. In fact, Eater has a long list of Nashville gems, including Folk's lamb sausage pie, Pitchfork Pizza Parlor's Cheez-us Take the Wheel, City House's belly ham pizza, and Lockeland Table's carbonara offering. With a huge variety of unique offerings, even the biggest pizza pundit will never grow bored in Music CIty.

Only time will tell if Hormel's predictions are spot-on or out of touch. In the meantime, you can have fun experimenting with veggies that taste like meat, deep-fried crust, and a pizza bedecked with lemons or spuds, and you just might find a new favorite.