Definition of "Gourmet Pizza"

I was just curious how you would define “Gourmet Pizza”. In my market there are quite a few who call themselves such. Do you have to have all the “foofie” toppings like artichokes, prawns, sprouts, tofu etc., or would someone who uses TOP QUALITY, fresh but traditional (pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, etc) toppings be considered “gourmet”?

Your thoughts are appreciated!

I’d say that it is pizza designed specifically for those who appreciate fine food, or who have a discriminating palate. That leaves it still open for discussion.

I think that a pepperoni pizza can be gourmet, but not with a prepared canned pizza sauce, bagged cheese, generic pepperoni and frozen pressed dough pucks.

Using the best quality ingredients available and superior techniques and creative presentation can “gourmet up” a pie quite nicely.

Hello pizza,I agree w/Nick,but for the most part a gourmet pizza I think should be diff.from the norm.As in artichoke hearts,seafood,duckling ect…I have a Pepperoni pie I call Petey 2 time that I put lrg.sliced pep. and small round cuts on the pie and it is under my line of gourmets.I think sometimes its all how you word it.At the end of the day its only an xtra pep pizza but its worded a little diff…We use Margarete Pepperoni a little pricy but extremely flavorful.Again it is quality so I guess its ‘gourmet’


I totally agree with both of the descriptors given so far as to what defines a “gourmet” pizza. My own personal take is that it has to be perceived as different in some way from mainstream pizza. I’d have a hard time accepting a pepperoni pizza as a gourmet pizza unless it was made with a type of pepperoni that was industry recognized as being vastly superior or different from any other type of pepperoni, and it wasn’t widly used in the industry. Just putting on more meat or vegetable toppings does not make a gourmet pizza in my book. For example, a pizza made with caviar wouldn’t cur it as a gourmet pizza, but use that high prices stuff from Russia, and now we might be talking “gourmet”.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We really are discussing, in similar terms, positioning your product in the marketplace. I envision the concept as a sort of vertical placement along a contiuum of scale. At the bottom is really cheap store brand frozen pizza with 6 pieces of diced pepperoni, and priced at 79 cents for a 10" box. It goes ‘up’ from there.

I suspect that different marketplaces will have different thresholds of “gourmet”. California and New York City will be more demanding and more difficult to move “up” the scale than in Valdosta, Georgia, for example. The key really is to separate your product significantly from the median grade in your marketplace. this can be very real or only perceived differences. I tend to go with Tom and goomba that superior quality and/or selection of ingredients will make the whole exercise more real.

Just like we work hard to separate ourselves from the economy pizza mills out there, we can further separate our products. Artichoke, feta and spinach are pretty swank in my part of the world . . . . that wouldn’t be nearly noticed in NYCity. When I go to the cream sauce, shrimp and lump crab meat pizza with caper and diced tomato and fontina cheese . . . finished with basil chiffonade, a dollop of creme fraiche and caviar in the center . . .that will turn heads in lots of marketplaces.

Identify your product position in the marketplace, compare to other products in the market, and develop on concept for elevating your position. Fresher, more unique, more exotic, superior techniques, novelty, perceived value, perceived luxury value . . . these can all contribute to changing the position of your product in the marketplace.

Whatever you do, find someone talented in describing this “gourmet” line of food. Word descriptors and pictures are the 1st contacts customers will have with your product line. A spectacular and effective introduction of it will help to further your goal of repositioning your product line.

OR I really could be a raving lunatic who doesn’t have much real clue outside of our little village. So, Your Mileage May Vary, and j_r0kk will get the 2 cents on this one.

I sure ain’t the expert . . . but I can get rather pushy like one, huh?