Americas favorite pizza - pepperoni

Pizza is a wildly popular dish in the United States, accounting for $45.59 billion in restaurant sales in 2021 alone. Every state seems to have its particular favorite. Not surprisingly, here in Illinois, it’s the quintessential deep-dish pizza.

Though pizza is popular across the nation, a few cities take pride in massive numbers of pizza orders. Chicago ranks second only to New York City for the most pizza orders in America. Just what is it that’s making those hot rounds of dough so appealing? The toppings, of course. Check out these stats on the most popular pizza toppings of 2022.

Pepperoni to the Rescue

Americas favorite pizza - pepperoni

Image by Tamas Pap is licensed with Unsplash License

Pepperoni consistently ranks number one among the country’s most beloved pizza toppings. A YouGovAmerica survey conducted in February 2021 revealed that 64% of respondents like pepperoni on their pizza. Though respondents could choose more than one ingredient, pepperoni had the largest percentage of all the options on the list. Grubhub data from February 2022 indicated that pepperoni was still holding strong as the most ordered topping at that point in the year.

This data falls neatly in line with the results from 2020 as well, when we last reviewed the most popular pizza toppings in America. It seems like this meaty favorite is here to stay.

The Revealing Runners Up

According to Grubhub data, mushrooms are the second most-ordered topping. This, too, echoes the 2020 findings, indicating that for many diners, tastes haven’t changed much. Mushrooms are a trending ingredient all around lately. Some upscale options are even pushing wild mushrooms, so you can really shake things up on your pie.

Sausage ranked third, showcasing a serious love of meat in the country. Interestingly, these two runners-up held opposite places on the YouGovAmerica survey. Of more than 6,000 respondents, 56% said they like sausage on their pizza, compared to just 54% who indicated that they enjoy ordering mushrooms.

Filling Out Your Favorites

Wondering what comes next? According to Grubhub’s data, the fourth most popular topping is black olives, followed by bacon in fifth place. In the YouGovAmerica survey, peppers and bacon tied for fifth place, getting a little love from 42% of those surveyed. Black olives ranked sixth, getting a 39% of the votes from the survey participants.

On the YouGovAmerica survey, however, extra cheese was in fourth place, capturing the adoration of 52% of respondents. It’s possible that this topping wasn’t included in the Grubhub data collection because it’s hard to imagine that such a lovely, gooey choice wouldn’t have made the top ten.

The Varied Veggies You Love

Most of the popular toppings in sixth place and below are veggies, which may not surprise those who can’t turn away from a meat lover’s pie. Turning to the YouGovAmerica data, we found onions in fifth place, with 48% of respondents indicating this tear-jerker would make it onto their pizzas. Onions were in sixth place for Grubhub orders.

The top toppings ordered on Grubhub finish out with pineapple in seventh place, followed by green peppers and spinach. Several veggies earned some love on the YouGovAmerica survey as well. Tomato is 33% of participants’ favorite, while 26% of those surveyed remain devoted to pineapple and spinach. Artichoke is a popular topping for 13% of those surveyed, and 12% said they’d put broccoli on a pizza.

More Meaty Options

Though the veggies are enjoying their day, many types of meat still rank high as preferred pizza toppings. Ham took tenth place in the Grubhub data. According to the YouGovAmerica survey, 35% of people put ham or Canadian bacon on their pizza. This survey also indicates that 28% of people include chicken and 16% want salami on pizza.

Surging Pizza Trends

The popularity of veggie-topped pizzas is on the rise, as a growing number of people are seeking healthier options for their favorite dish. Datassential’s Pizza Keynote report indicated that kale, avocado, and arugula are some of the fastest-growing options for pizza toppings.

Some restaurants are featuring plant-based cheeses with their veggie-packed toppings. Vegan pizzas have seen a massive growth of 187% since 2018. With 39% of Americans now indicating that they eat plant-based food at least once a week, it’s no surprise that this is crossing over into the pizza industry.

Specialty pizzas are capturing the interest of adventurous eaters looking for something new and exciting to try in the pizza realm. Hawaiian, Mexican, and similar global flavors rank high among diners. Since 2018, Thai Peanut has seen a 58% increase on pizza menus.

Debated Toppings

There’s a great debate over many common pizza toppings, with nearly as many people disliking a topping as there are salivating at the thought of it. Checking out some of the actively disliked toppings on pizzas, we can see some serious contention over a few of the highly ranked choices and some toppings that seem to be clear losers in the pizza popularity contest.

Not surprisingly, the most disliked topping on the YouGovAmerica survey was anchovies, with 61% of respondents indicating that they certainly won’t be ordering these tiny salty fish on their pizzas. This was followed by eggplant with a 52% vote and artichokes with 44% of the vote. Next up is broccoli, which 39% of respondents disliked.

Things get dicey from here. Pineapple is disliked by 35% of respondents despite the fact that it commanded a place in Grubhub’s top ten. However, the 2022 Slice of the Union indicates that things are steadily looking up for this hotly debated topping. Pineapple’s popularity increased 76% over the previous year.

Olives, another top-ten topping, are disliked by 29% of diners in the survey. This just goes to show that pizzas are never a one-size-fits-all product.

Our passion for pizza has us drooling just by looking at some of this data. If you’re craving a delicious pizza now, too, you’re only a few clicks away from an order. You can order Pequod’s Pizza online for ultimate convenience and get exactly the toppings you want.