Are you a pizza purist or do you like to experiment? When it comes to pizza, everyone has their favorite combos, but which are America’s favorite pizza toppings?

According to Mintel’s latest Pizza Restaurant research in the US, more than half of consumers say that they usually order pepperoni (65%), sausage (54%), or mushroom (51%). This is followed by: extra cheese (45%), onion (39%), green pepper (37%), olive (34%), bacon (31%), ham (29%) and pineapple (21%).

When it comes to gender, men are much more likely than women to order bacon (38% of men v 24% of women), sausage (60% v 48%), pepperoni (71% v 60%), and ham pizzas (34% v 25%). In comparison, women prefer vegetable options, such as olives (36% of women v 33% of men), onion (40% v 38%), green pepper (38% v 36%).

Topping preferences also differ according to age. Consumers aged 18-24 show a stronger preference for bacon (40% of this age group v 31% on average), extra cheese (54% v 45%), ham (36% v 29%), and pineapple (26% v 21%). On the other hand, consumers aged 65+ are much less likely to order mushrooms (58% v 51% on average), and those aged 55-64 show a strong preference for onions (47% v 39% on average).

And while pizza topping preferences are fairly similar among regions, there are a few exceptions. Of all regions, Northeast consumers may be the more open to innovative new combinations, with 7% saying the don’t order the usual toppings v 3% on average.
Meanwhile, consumers from the Midwest are much more likely to select mushroom (58% v 51% on average), onion (44% v 39%), and green pepper (41% v 37%) than any other region, making the supreme pizza combination very popular.

Consumers in the South are much more likely to order extra cheese (54% v 45% on average), bacon (34% v 31%), and ham (35% v 29%), creating an opportunity to sell meat-lover-type pizzas. Last, consumers located in the West show a greater interest in olives (47% v 34%) and pineapple (27% v 21%) as their usual pizza toppings.

Overall, the pizza restaurant market in the US has grown throughout the recession and is continuing to do so in the weak economy. Pizza restaurant sales grew 10% from 2007-11 and are expected to hit $37.7 billion in 2012. Growth of 16.7% is predicted from 2012-17, reaching $44 billion in 2017 as the economy strengthens and consumers return to patterns that are close to pre-recessionary spending.