The Pizzaburger, is essentially a bacon cheeseburger wrapped in a pepperoni pizza and cooked like a calzone, has just begun rolling out at Boston's Restaurant and Sports Bar's 40 U.S. locations.
(Photo: Boston's Restaurant and Sports B)
Our national obsession with all things pizza has resulted in what might be the ultimate American food: the pizzaburger.
The pizzaburger - essentially a bacon cheeseburger wrapped in a pepperoni pizza and cooked like a calzone - has begun showing up on menus at Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar's 40 U.S. locations.
The domestic roll-out follows a 250% rise in burger sales at the chain's Canadian locations, called Boston's The Gourmet Pizza, after the pizzaburger was launched there in the spring.
"We're not pretending that it's a healthy product," Brad Bevill, vice president of marketing, says of the 1,360-calorie Pepperoni & Bacon Pizzaburger, which comes packed with 2,000 milligrams of sodium. "You're talking about a hamburger and pizza wrapped together."
Did we forget to mention that it's served with a garnish of lettuce, tomato and pickle?
Perhaps this helps explain why pizza flavor has recently shown up in the most unlikely products - from popcorn to sausage to candy.
"Saturation advertising from national pizza chains gives the pizza flavor a high profile with consumers," says Tom Vierhile, innovations insights director at Datamonitor.
The real driver is America's love affair with pizza. Sales at U.S. pizza restaurants topped $36 billion last year - up nearly 4% from the year before, reports Packaged Facts food industry tracker. Consider: 97% of U.S. adults eat pizza at least once a year, and more than 27% eat it monthly.
That's one reason why the head chef at Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar spent months developing the pizza burger - which is cooked in an oven like pizza with a precooked burger inside.
"Our cultural love of pizza stems from our emotional connection to social consumption," Bevill says. "I'm seeing lots of pizza tattoos on Instagram."
As a result, besides burgers, pizza is showing up in:
• Popcorn. Doc Popcorn just rolled-out a gluten-free Poppin' Pizza popcorn, made with whole-grain kernels and real cheese. The company uses 100% corn oil and natural ingredients to make its snacks, says co-founder Rob Israel.
• Nutrition bars. In April, a new Pizza Marinara nutrition bar by Journey was introduced.
• Candy. Early this summer, Eda's Sugarfree Candies rolled out Pizza is 4 Suckers, sugar-free, pizza-flavored hard candy. The slogan: "It's not just a candy - it's a snack."
• Beer. While Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer isn't new (it was developed in 2006), it's still getting buzz. No, there's no pizza in the beer, but the brew is enhanced with a special pizza flavoring. "In the end," says creator Tom Seefurth, "we were pleasantly surprised this mess turned out to be the best thing since the chocolate bumped into the guy with the peanut butter."
• Ice cream. Yes, you may want to hold your noses, but Little Baby's Ice Cream in Philadelphia sells a pizza-flavored ice cream - hold the sausage.
Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY