**Shopping district in Shanghai, China**
Ask anyone what their favorite food, and no doubt pizza will top their list as one of their favorite foods. According to ChaCha (a great source for information by the way), over 1 billion pizzas are delivered every year, and there are over 11.5 million pizzas sold every day.
Why do people like pizza though? When asked, one person replied this simple formula: cheap+easy+cheese= One happy pizza lover. Cheese seems to be a key element in any good pizza.
To put this to the test, one of the nation’s largest pizza chains recently made some interesting changes. In 2009, Domino’s Pizza actually reformulated their pizzas to improve their pizza recipe. The new Domino’s pizzas use higher quality ingredients with 40% more cheese. In addition, they added a few different types of cheese to their pizza cheese to increase the flavor of the pizzas.
The results were pretty amazing. By the end of the year their annual profits were up over 32% due to the large increase in sales. Keep in mind that this was at a time when consumers were holding back their spending due to the financial downturn.
Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones who like pizza though. Bloomberg recently published an article about the growing demand for cheese overseas. Even though Asia has not been a traditional cheese consumer, people there have a growing a taste for cheese. Pizza Hut and McDonalds, no doubt, have help introduce cheese to these markets through pizza, and cheeseburgers.
**A universal language, show the logo to any taxi driver without needing to speak Chinese**
**Deep dish Pizza hut pizza, with silverware – not chopsticks!**
**In China, your soda comes with no ice, a lemon, and an awesome flexi straw**
If you visit Pizza Hut in China, it’s pretty different than the chain here in the U.S. In China, the Pizza Hut restaurants are full on sit down restaurants packed with people. From my experience, the restaurants attract the younger Chinese demographic who absolutely love pizza.
**Trendy Interior of a Pizza Hut in China**
According to the Bloomberg article, Pizza Hut sales in China are “on fire” with store sales jumping 22% in the second quarter of this year. With the middle class becoming wealthier, there are more people spending more on a Western-style diet. This has definitely helped propel an increase of U.S. dairy exports abroad.
Exports of cheese to Asia, have risen significantly over a year ago. In the 4 months ending in April 30, cheese exports from the U.S. increased 68% from a year earlier and exports in 2010 were a record 173,531 tons according to the Bloomberg article.
There is a lot of opportunity in the world as a dairy producer. We have been very blessed here in the U.S. for a developed industry that can provide us with the cheesy goodness on our pizza. Perhaps though, we can be a key player in future helping to provide others that same goodness.