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Hormel Foods Pizza Expert Talks Toppings Trends


Austin, Minn.

Citrus, fried and lots more plant-based options on the horizon, said Anthony Panichelli

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), a global branded food company and the maker of the best-selling retail pepperoni in the United States, is talking about pizza trends on the heels of its annual showing at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Brand Manager Anthony Panichelli, who for years has focused on the company’s industry-leading pizza-toppings portfolio, offered five trends to watch in the coming months.

Plant-based pizza toppings

The plant-based market is continuing to boom as curious consumers experiment with meat alternatives to add more plant-based protein to their diets. Hormel Foods and its Happy Little Plants® pepperoni-style topping offer pizzaiolos a perfect way to add the burst of flavor people love and expect from real-meat pepperoni, with a plant-based spin. Consumers can experience the Happy Little Plants® magic at Tony Gemignani’s Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and at Wrecktangle Pizza in Minneapolis.

Citrus garnishes

Perhaps you’ve heard of the winning culinary combo S.F.A.H. (salt, fat, acid, heat). According to Panichelli, eyes are on the acid component right now. Not only does citrus offer a splash of color, think about how a lemon wedge can add a new level of acid and create a delicious flavor profile. If tasting is believing, Panichelli recommended the clam pie with lemon at Surly Brewing in Minneapolis and the asparagus and lemon pizza from Tony Gemignani.

Fried pizza

Demonstrating you can improve on perfection, enter fried pizza. Known as Montanara style, you’ll find the crispy and delectable variation by Larry Bistrot in Naples, Italy; and by Don Antonio in the Big Apple – New York City.

Potato and pizza

Admittedly, you might need to think about this one for a while – or better yet, try it, Panichelli said. Potatoes and pizza are pairing up at places like Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis and Bonci in Chicago. This new-on-the-scene dynamic duo deserves a try.

Nashville is the place to be

When it comes to U.S. pizza meccas, you can’t help but think of New York City, Chicago and Detroit, and rightly so. But the field is widening, Panichelli predicted. Nashville suddenly has a lot more than music to its credit, thanks to Michael Hanna and St. Vito’s Focacciaria’s world-class dough, and Joey’s House of Pizza’s homage to the classic pie. Meanwhile, Folk is earning a reputation for its neo-Neapolitan pizza, City House has a one-of-a-kind belly ham pizza, and Slim & Husky’s is another force to be reckoned with.

About Hormel Foods – Inspired People. Inspired Food.

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $11 billion in annual revenues across 75 countries worldwide. Its brands include Planters®, SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Columbus®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the “Global 2000 World’s Best Employers” list by Forbes magazine for three years, is one of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the 12 years, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — to bring some of the world’s most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit and