Pizza Trends in Korea 2017
by Daniel Gray
In Korea, pizza is not just meal - it’s a symbol of celebration. So, in order to an event more momentous, the pizzas might have sweet-potato paste stuffed crust, wagyu beef, red onions, cheddar and mozzarella cheese and topped with BBQ sauce. They could also a pan pizza with a cheese and sweet potato crust topped with shrimp, crab, onions, pineapple, broccoli and more. These pizzas are considered a luxury and could cost around 30 Euros per pizza. These are pizzas at franchise delivery places that you could order in Korea right now. However, not everyone wants this style of pizza, the trend is going towards authentic and artisan made.
Stone Ovens or Pizza Decks
Fire and smoke is a common element at barbecue restaurants in Korea where people would cook the meat right in a barbecue grill in the center of the table with wood charcoal. The popular pizza places in Korea have stone ovens and cook the pizzas before guests. There are some companies that can make them, but often they would like to import an oven to add an authentic atmosphere to their place. The places with wood-fired ovens stick to traditional pizzas like Margherita, Napoletana and Quattro Formaggi. A white pizza topped with bleu cheese and dipped in honey is also a common menu at these Italian pizzerias.
If the restaurant would like to do large North American-style pizza then they want large deck ovens. These pizzerias feature large slices that are topped with pepperoni, steak, sausage, mushrooms, peppers and possibly a spicy version. These restaurants would also feature craft beer on draft since pizza and beer or called Pimek in Korea is very popular.
Delivery or Frozen
Delivery apps and takeout businesses have grown tremendously in Korea earning $70 billion USD in 2014 (Techcrunch). Frozen Pizzas and other frozen foods have also become popular. Smaller, artisanal pizza brands will be getting into the frozen pizza trend as well, since they can leverage their brand to sell pizzas online. There is an increase in sales of blast freezers so these small places can make their own frozen pies and sell online. The advantage of this is that they can sell multiple pizzas at anytime of the day and not have the customer taking up space in their restaurant. It’s a win/win for everyone.