Here’s a look at some top innovations that are jump-starting the frozen pizza category:
1. Veggie Crust
The success of Caulipower’s cauliflower crust pizzas has inspired a flurry of crust-centric innovations. New veggie crust options include Udi’s Gluten-Free pizzas with sweet potato crust and Spinato’s broccoli cheddar crust pizzas.
O, That’s Good! Classic Crust with a Twist of Cauliflower uses the hidden veggies approach—one-third of the crust is cauliflower. The rest of the crust is enriched wheat flour which helps ensure a more traditional crust taste and texture.
2. Almond Crust
Is it nuts to try making a pizza crust from almonds? Almond-focused Cappello’s didn’t think so. Cappello’s Grain Free frozen pizzas boast a paleo-friendly almond flour-based crust. Other ingredients include eggs, arrowroot flour, cassava flour, and psyllium husk to help with binding and structure.
3. Ancient Grains Crust
While some frozen pizza manufacturers are going grain-free, others are embracing grains—particularly alternative grains that still allow for a gluten-free claim. Smart Flour Ancient Grains frozen pizzas use a blend of sorghum, amaranth, and teff flours, along with tapioca flour and potato starch. Consumers can also buy plain Smart Flour pizza crusts to make their own pizzas.
4. Protein-Fortified Crust
Nutrition innovations in frozen pizza include the high protein pizza, such as Quest Thin Crust Pizza. With crusts containing whey and milk protein isolates, Quest pizzas deliver a whopping 27 to 30 grams of protein per serving.
Real Good Food Co. chicken crust pizzas serve up 25 grams of protein thanks to a unique chicken breast and parmesan cheese crust. Custom nutrient premixes are a quick way to fortify any pizza crust with more protein or other nutrients for an eye-catching nutrition label.
5. Fiber-Fortified Crust
Quest has managed to boost not only protein but fiber, as well, in its Quest Thin Crust Pizzas. One serving provides consumers with 13 to 19 grams of fiber (a nutrient of public health concern) thanks to ingredients such as cellulose, corn fiber, and citrus fiber. Having multiple fibers pre-blended into custom nutrient premixes provides a range of benefits, from speeding up production to simplifying inventory.
Tips on Formulating Alternative Pizza Crusts
Adding alternative ingredients—whether vegetables, nuts, or grains—holds taste and nutrition appeal but poses challenges to creating a crust that can perform. For gluten-free alternative pizza crusts, adding a binder, such as egg, starch, or gum, becomes critical. Some manufacturers are even using cheese to deliver this function.
For blended crusts, such as O, That’s Good! Classic Crust with a Twist of Cauliflower (which blends wheat flour with cauliflower), dough conditioners are important. The right dough conditioners can ensure optimum dough strength and extensibility despite functional interference from the alternative ingredient.