In the U.S., we eat roughly 3 billion pizzas this year, equating to one-third of global pizza consumption.
An essential pizza ingredient — cheese — gets its start on America’s dairy farms.
Served up in slices around the country, about 25 percent of all U.S. cheese ends up on a pizza. That’s according to Jimmy Simonte of the pizza-giant, Domino’s.
This is encouraging news to the nation’s dairy farmers — who have a shared interest in growing demand for the family-favorite meal.
Selling more pizza, means selling more dairy.
“When somebody makes the decision to buy Domino’s and feed their family with a pizza for that night, instead of burgers or fries, there’s a lot more dairy involved in that transaction,” said Simonte. “Our ability to grow beyond the traditional pizza category is pretty thrilling.”
Domino’s has a long-held reputation for pizza delivery, and Simonte says to attract new customers, they’ve been growing more into the carry-out market.
Following trends in consumer behavior, and meeting their needs is the number one priority.
“At the end of the day, we are consumers,” said Simonte. “We buy food, we feed our family, we feed our kids, and we have the right and the ability to make our decisions on how we spend our dollars, right? So we all want to be here tomorrow, we want to build companies and businesses that sustain our families, and doing that requires that we address and embrace consumers.”
Over the years, Domino’s Pizza has also embraced the dairy community.
Simonte said the franchise owners of Domino’s locations — about 800 independent business people —have more in common with dairy producers than meets the eye.
“These are traditionally family-run businesses, we work retail hours, we don’t get to take the day off when it’s the holiday, or it’s bad weather, things like that,” he said. “It’s a small, independent business owner who’s working under the umbrella of Domino’s Pizza. When we started partnering with dairy farmers, we found this brotherhood, this camaraderie.”
The Holstein cow has even made an appearance on Domino’s Pizza boxes — a popular tribute to the ultimate source of pizza’s primary ingredient: cheese.
“What I would love every dairy farmer to know is that, first and foremost, we thank them, and appreciate them,” said Simonte. “We wouldn’t be in business, we wouldn’t be able to sell a single pizza if we didn’t have cheese, right? It is not a lost fact on us. That is the biggest component of our product, and so we love, and embrace, and respect that.”