Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Mike Kostyo
March 3, 2022

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Creative iterations in the pizza world that pull from the global pantry are driven by the desire to leverage exciting—and trending—flavors and preparations. Pizza offers an ideal vehicle to move global flavors in new directions, serving up a format that consumers know and love while making the experience surprising and singular.

Pizza concepts like Pizza Twist, Pizzawala’s, Zante Pizza and Curry Pizza House are part of a growing number of restaurant brands that turn Indian favorites like butter chicken, tikka masala and palak paneer into slices of handheld pizza goodness.

Entrepreneur Gursewak Gill says his family members were “pizza fanatics” before he opened Curry Pizza House, sometimes ordering pies three times in a single week. When his wife began incorporating Indian spices into their pizzas, he teamed up with business partner Romy Gill (no relation) to launch Curry Pizza House, with the first location opening in Fremont, Calif., in 2012.

The menu features options like Tandoori Chicken Pizza with white garlic sauce, a Chile Paneer Pizza with curry sauce and masala paneer, Aloo Chaat Pizza with marinated potatoes and mint, and Curry Veggie Delight, with a curry-sauce base.

Although the opportunity isn’t limited to Indian flavors and ingredients, the in-market examples make a solid case. They demonstrate how well pizza serves as an ideal carrier for proven flavor systems hailing from global cuisines that are perhaps outside the familiar, but are craveable and compelling to American diners.

About The Author

Mike Kostyo

Mike Kostyo is the VP of Menu Matters. Mike has been a recurring guest on Fusion TV’s “The A.V. Club” show; has been featured on NBC News, CBS Radio and Gimlet Media’s “Why We Eat What We Eat” podcast; is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines; speaks at numerous conferences across the country; and was a judge on Food Network’s “Eating America.” For nearly 11 years, Mike was an associate director and trends expert at one of the industry's largest research firms. He has a master's in Gastronomy from Boston University, plus certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, wine and artisan cheese production. [email protected]