Anchovies Rank No. 1 as America’s Least Favorite Pizza Topping

BY Courtney Huckabay

Pizza! There’s no question that Americans eat it, love it, and are even comforted by it. In a recent Harris Poll, Americans weigh in on what they like, don’t like, and where to find the best. Pepperoni tops Americans’ list of favorite pizza toppings. Among pizza eaters, New York beats out Illinois as the state with the best pizza.

AudienceSCAN knows Americans love their pizza pies: 6.8% of adults eat pizza more than 5 times per week!

Pepperoni is tops on Americans’ list of favorite pizza toppings. Anchovies, on the other hand, rank first on the list of least favorite toppings. And in the great debate over New York style versus Chicago deep dish, Americans may have an answer as New York is seen as the best state to get a good slice while Illinois lands second.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,193 U.S. adults surveyed online between January 13 and 18, 2016.

The favorites

Pepperoni may be in the top spot, but it’s certainly not the only thing Americans like to put on their pies. Sausage and mushrooms rank second and third, while a simple cheese pizza ranks fourth. Adults point to onions as fifth, olives in sixth, and bacon as their seventh favorite. Ham/​Canadian bacon and pineapple are tied for eighth place, while peppers round out the top ten.

Let your pizza advertisers know that 26.5% of Pizza Lovers think TV is the best place for finding coupons, followed by magazines with 18.5%, according to AudienceSCAN. Advertisers should use these media to promote their coupons in ads with you.

While the toppings may be the cherry on top, a solid foundation can make or break the meal. When it comes to crust style, there’s no majority rule though a plurality (29%) prefer thin crust. A bit more distantly, adults turn to regular crust (18%), deep dish (15%), and stuffed crust (14%). Fewer than one in ten prefers thick crust (9%), French bread (4%), or Sicilian crust (3%).

  • Interestingly, generation appears to play a factor in preferred crust style: Millennials don’t just want toppings on their pizza; they want it in their pizza! Stuffed crust is the number one pick for this group, while all other generations default to thin crust as their top choice.

Six percent say they really have no preference when it comes to crust type, just give them the pizza already! Meanwhile a paltry 2% may be missing out on all the goodness as they say they don’t eat pizza at all.

Pizza parlors and the like can benefit from placing ads on social networks with you, because 53.5% of Pizza Lovers took action after seeing those ads in the past month! AudienceSCAN also found that 52.5% took action after receiving mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads.

And the least

While Americans may be more or less united in eating pizza, they’re also pretty aligned against certain ways to top it. Anchovies rank number one as America’s least favorite pizza topping. Beyond that, one person’s treasure indeed seems to be another’s trash as most other top ten favorites also make an appearance on the least favorites list. Mushrooms fall second, followed by pineapple, onions and olives to round out the top five. Pepperoni, the number one favorite, is sixth on the least favorite list. Peppers and sausage rank seventh and eighth, while meat in general falls ninth. And an ordinary pie just won’t do for some, as a plain cheese pizza rounds out the list of top ten least favorites.

Where to find the best

New York and Illinois top the list of states with the best pizza, with California landing in the number three spot. Unsurprisingly, the rankings change when looking across the regions:

  • Easterners stick to the East coast through and through. New York is number one, followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • Dwellers in the Midwest maintain Illinois is the best, while they settle for New York as second. Ohio and Michigan tie for third place.
  • Those in the South jump all over the map, from New York at number one, to Illinois in second, with Texas taking spot number three.
  • Westerners stick to their roots, with California in the number one spot; New York and Illinois round out their top three.

Try getting your pizza shops to highlight these styles of pizza in ads with you. Pizza Lovers will appreciate the information. AudienceSCAN revealed that 55% of Pizza Lovers think shops that advertise are typically better than those that do not advertise.

The preferred way to wash it all down

Among those who drink alcohol at least a few times a year, a majority say their preferred adult beverage to wash down a slice is a nice, cold beer (54%). More specifically, non-​craft domestic beer is number one (29%), followed closely by craft beer (24%) and import beer (23%).

Two out of ten (20%) say they’re most likely to pick up a glass of wine, while imbibers are less likely to turn to flavored malt beverages (9%), liquor or cocktails (9%), or hard cider (8%). However, two in ten (21%) say skipping the alcohol altogether is the way to go. And while beer may be the number one choice across each region, Westerners are more likely to turn to wine compared to any other region (30% vs. 16% South, 15% Midwest & 18% East).

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.