Taking the World by Storm
There are now and have always been fads or trends. You know, like Hula hoops, Frisbee, skinny ties, flash mobs, fantasy sports leagues, crocs, fidget spinners and High School Musical! Some fads have turned into trends, and some trends have turned into a regular, long-lasting social or cultural mainstays. Take the cell phone for example. Forever on the lookout for the latest, greatest whatever-it-is, we here at pizzaovenreview.com have noticed something just a bit unusual on the fad front. While it is true that we are somewhat biased in our views on the importance of pizza ovens, it’s also true that statistics have shown a new “megatrend” coming down the pipe.
What’s a MegaTrend?
According to dictionary.com, the definition of a trend is;
“The general course or prevailing tendency; drift:”
If that’s true, then a megatrend would be that …. on steroids! It’s a major trend or movement, and it shows signs of hanging on a bit longer than a fad or trend because it offers a more substantial value or advantage to its followers, and it has mass appeal! Okay, where am I going with this? Well, one such megatrend worth discussing is the simple, and centuries-old PIZZA OVEN!
Astronomical growth of Pizza Ovens
Indeed dear readers, like it or not, pizza ovens are a HUGE trend taking over much of Europe and certainly the Commonwealth countries, not to mention the good old US of A. In fact, get this crazy statistic; According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on any given day in America, 13% of the population (over the age of 2 years) will eat pizza! Do we have an obsession with that cheesy, salty goodness?! Take a guess!
The megatrend towards at-home pizza consumption is on an upswing as well. In the same study, the U.S.D.A. Found that around 10% of all pizza-related sales in 2015 were from consumers purchasing dough or dough-making ingredients for pizza. That trend is up from a mere 3% in 2013.
A Bit of History
No one knows EXACTLY when pizzas were invented, but generally, there is evidence to suggest something like a pizza was has been around since ancient Egypt, and certainly in Greece and Rome. From there, things evolved to the modern “birth” of pizza in Naples, Italy in the late 1700s and early 1800s. After that, the trend went viral! It started in Italy, and then to the U.S. Around 1900 – 1905. That’s when Italian immigrants started selling pizzas in New York City. Back then, everything was wood-fired and authentically made according to passed down tradition from Italian families through several generations. The Eastern Seaboard in the U.S. saw continued, rapid growth of authentic pizzerias, and in the early 1940’s, Chicago pizza was born.
After World War 2, the pizza trend curve shot up, even more, when returning soldiers wanted to continue their pizza obsession after many discovered it overseas. Pizza parlors became something like bars or nightclubs – many offering dance floors. They became the places to meet other people and to bring groups for a party. In fact, pizzas themselves were meant to be shared – the perfect communal food – also the perfect minimalist food!
Closer to the middle of the last century (1950’s-ish) the pizza trend hit Australia and much of the rest of the world, and it’s been all uphill since then!
But, something happened all over the world in the mid-late 1950s. It was called “PIZZA CHAINS”. Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, and Domino’s started popping up everywhere in the U.S. The interesting thing about those chains is that none of them were started to be an authentic, homestyle offering of good food with social undertones. According to the websites of many of the big pizza chains, they all started primarily as a “business idea”. The fact that they made pizza was a secondary issue which was just a “tool” to creating wealth. Nice! That’s always a great way to win customers! I mean, I get that we all have to make a living, so every pizzeria is a business, but there needs to be more of a heart and soul (not to mention quality) that goes into it.
Where Are We Now?
Over the past 40 years, the pizza chains have grown exponentially, while the independent pizza crafters have gone out of business at an alarming rate. While independents have made a bit of a comeback in recent years, the overall trend favors the chains. The low prices that can be offered by the chain stores, and the inability of the independents to match prices while offering premium quality ingredients and service, is the issue. So where does that leave us now?
Pizza Oven Appeal
Pizza ovens have been around nearly since the dawn of human history (I think they have, but I wasn’t there – though, by the way, my muscles and bones feel when I wake up, sometimes I feel like maybe my great grandfather was. – don’t get it? Forget it!). Electric and propane ovens have become fairly popular since the 1970’s, but like many things (organic living, country farmhouse decorating, veganism, yoga), wood-fired, authentic brick ovens are roaring back into the mainstream of culture like nothing else I’ve seen – other than “direct-to-consumer” online shopping! There’s something about the authenticity of getting back to basics. You know, like bare feet on the soil, hands in the dirt, and rotary dial phones, (okay, forget that last one), we seem to be in a world that is so driven by all things digital, technological and artificial, that we long to swing back just a bit. It’s that pendulum thing if you know what I mean. That’s where wood-fired pizza ovens help. They let us create something rustic, authentic and steeped in history with basic ingredients …. with an authentic implement with a solid historical background – the brick pizza oven.
Growth in the U.K. And Australia
If you do a google search, you’ll find that in both Australia and the U.K., pizza oven popularity has sky-rocketed, and is far ahead of the North American trend (which is on the same trajectory, but just way lower on the graph at this point). According to a report in the Independent UK, one vendor of pizza ovens saw 300 per cent growth in sales about a decade ago in England, and that trend has continued with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver praising the benefits of wood-fired ovens.
PizzaOvenReview.com (a shameless plug!)
Enter PizzaOvenReview.com. We would love to be (and we count on being!) the source for thousands of would-be consumers to get their “pizza fix”. Yes, we review ovens and other pizza-related items, but we want to be your overall pizza authority. We’re not interested in just reviewing pizza ovens and then asking you to go to Amazon and buy one. That’s a bit presumptuous and self-serving. We’d rather make a passion and hobby into a business, so it helps both you (in your search for anything “pizza-ish”) and my family (yes, we have 6 mouths to feed here at the PizzaOvenReview household – actually, 43 mouths if you include the cats and chickens!).
So, will the trend continue? Nothing is certain, but all indications show that pizza ovens (along with the greater trend of at-home pizza creation) will continue its upward trajectory for years to come. Part of the reason why I (and many pizza oven manufacturers) believe that, is because since the lowly (or should I say mighty) pizza started its journey to stardom in Gaeta, Italy in AD. 997, it’s been on a pretty consistent growth curve. It is NO fad or craze, that is for sure! In fact, at this very moment, there are dozens upon dozens (maybe hundreds – I haven’t actually counted) of pizza oven makers who are trouncing on each other trying to get to the top of the pile in preparation for the deluge of sales projected over the next decade or more. Some makers are focusing on the super-authentic, historical brick and mortar ovens, while others are making iron and steel models. Still, others offer a more convenient propane or electric model. Any way you cut it, it appears pizza ovens are here to stay for quite awhile (this humble reviewer believes they’ll be on an upswing at least for the next 30 years).
Some Basics to Deal with First!
What Can a Pizza Oven Do?
First and foremost, it can give you and your household a generous splash of the “cool factor”. Well, actually, that one comes way down on the list, but it’s kinda true! Pizza ovens can quite literally bake or treat any food item for which you would use a regular indoor oven. Most of the time it does a better job in that it often offers a different texture, flavor, aesthetic or other experience than an indoor electric oven range. Plus, it can do things your indoor oven cannot do, like make a pizza in 60 seconds! Read more about how that’s possible HERE!
How Much Does a Pizza Oven cost?
Here’s the question of the hour! The cost can be as little as $35 and as much as $41, 000 (yup, you read that right! Just for fun, check that one out HERE! Yes, be sure to just pick one of those up casually just for fun K? …. yes, I’m kidding!).
Most decent ovens range from about $150 for a small, propane model, to a couple of thousand bucks for a good backyard wood-fired oven. You can do lots of research on Amazon. Amazon is certainly not the only place you can get one, but it’s the place with the biggest variety for the lowest price.
Where Do I Put It?
I do know that when some people hear the term “pizza oven”, they immediately think of an old-world, Italian, brick, construction project in “Uncle Louie’s backyard”. Terms like, “portable”, “tailgate” or “stainless” do not come to mind. I can assure you that the majority of ovens sold worldwide are fairly small and can be shipped to your house from a warehouse or online retailer. It can also be placed anywhere from your stove top, to your barbecue! Portable models abound, and they constitute the majority of pizza oven sales.
Where Can I Get One?
You can buy a pizza oven in quite a number of places. However, there’s no retail outlet that we know of that will give you a selection of every kind of pizza oven. While you can order a variety of ovens from the manufacturer, you’ll have to find out who they are, and if they even have a website. If they do, their prices are very often a little bit, or a LOT more expensive than the one place that gives you the biggest variety in the world – AMAZON! Yes, it’s true that we get a small commission for each oven bought through our website, but if you really don’t like me, just click out of our website and then go to Amazon directly – then I won’t get any commission…. but please don’t. I only get 4.5% – 8% of the purchase price and I REALLY don’t make a killing. I don’t even make enough money to live on, but I (and my wife) really enjoy writing, and pizza, so it works!
Oh, and getting back on topic, you’ll generally have a really tough time finding a local brick and mortar store to sell you a wood-fired oven. They just don’t carry them! I’d get it from Amazon, and in fact, I DO buy most of my major, non-consumable items from Amazon.
I hope I’ve given you a bit of an overview on the prevailing trend of pizza oven growth, a bit of background information, and some direction as to where and how to buy one. Please leave your comment below if you need clarification on anything and I’ll do my best to answer amid the thousands of comments we get every day! (….not!)
Happy researching, and happy eating!