Selling fresh uncooked pizzas in local stores

Hi guys, got a few ideas to bounce off you. I run a pizza place in ireland selling pizza for takeaway. I recently had the idea to diversify into selling freshly made pizzas to our local grocery stores. I’ve noticed more and more fresh pizzas for sale over the past few years so there clearly is a market for them. My main query is the base… do i need to modify my dough recipe or dough management procedures?? Also should i par bake the crusts in our oven prior to making the pizzas. I’ll be using something called a pizza capper to seal the pizzas in a clear film. I think the pizzas will have a shelf life of 4 days max because ill be using fresh ingredients.


Mike :slight_smile:

Par-baking the crusts will give your product longer shelf life, as its been my experience the cheese & sauce interact b4 diversely, after 10 days or so…

Par-baking will also allow for a more consistent end product in most of the consumers ovens…

Using silicone baking paper, pizza circles & your capper will provide a durable product for take-aways & ease of use for the consumer…I prefer the silicone sheets over the baking cardboard or metal tins…the consumer can use the pizza circle to remove the pie from the oven & off the baking sheet…

Blanching the most of the veggie toppings will also increase shelf life…

Hi Mike:

I do not know your health department regulations so I cannot comment on that .

I would advise checking with the company that handles your liability insurance. You are opening a new can of worms when making a food product for resale by another company.

George Mills

Good point George…

PS…Did you know the US has 5% of the worlds population but 60% of the worlds lawyers…Makes me think that maybe politicians are not the biggest problem…lol…

Okay…now I do not sell complete pizzas but here is some insight based upon the allergen-free pizzas I do sell through grocery stores.

This is US based information:

  1. You now need to be inspected by both your local and State food inspection organization and MUST BE certified by them to do so.
  2. Your insurance will now mostly likely need to be 2M in coverage AND you need to add each grocery store on your insurance rider so that they know you are covering claims that arise against them.
  3. Packaging…invest in a vacuum packer that also has a gas insertion option. You need to add something like nitrogen so that the packaging does not SMASH the pies yet still removes the o2 so that it extends the shelf life
  4. Nutritional Labeling…IS A REQUIREMENT…and it needs to be certified.
  5. UPC…is mostly likely required and this is a SCAM. For instance, I can get a UPC for 1.99…BUT…if I sell to WalMart I need a different type of UPS which can run over 1000.00 with a yearly renewal fee.
  6. Distribution…in many cases most grocery stores will not deal with you directly…you need to got through a broker who in turn bites into your profits. So, let’s say you can sell this to them directly for 5.00…and you have a 3.00 profit built in. Now you have to use a broker who has to buy them from you for 3.00…well…there goes your profit. Most chains work on a 30 percent profit margin to the grocery store.

I hope that this helps your a bit.

Be careful I live in Portland Oregon there is a local group of stores that typically is known for selling slices called Pizza Schmizza who recently started selling in a local outlet by my house. Their product is unique enough and the price was right that I picked up two take and bake pizzas. They were so horrid I mean awful doesn’t begin to describe them the crust was rock hard (they are known for their crsust too) the cheese appeared to be curdeled after cooking. I almost want to call the owner up and tell him to take his name off the boxes. What I think went wrong is that they made and tested at shop but no one bought one or cooked up one that had been sitting at the local store. So yes you might have to play around a bit test the recipe and final product. Most importantly if it has your name on it ensure that it meets or exceeds your expectations otherwise it could hurt your image and sales.

thanks for the replies guys… lots of good points there. I’ll keep you updated on the progress.