To celebrate National Pizza Day on the February 9th, San Carlo have commissioned a survey to discover what the United Kingdom really thinks about pizza. We asked 2000 people what their most liked and disliked toppings were, how often they ate pizza and how they ate it. We made some interesting findings, read on to find out what they were.
According to the results, the nation’s overall favourite pizza topping is Margherita! This simple topping scored consistently highly across every single city, particularly in Leeds where 55% of people chose it as their favourite. It was also made clear that the country despises anchovies on pizza, with it being the most disliked topping for 13 out of the 15 cities surveyed.
London is the city that eats the most pizza, with 15% of people eating it more than once a week compared to 8% for the nation as a whole. Southampton however eats the least pizza, with 24% of respondents there eating it less than once a month. The South West is the region that eats the least pizza, as 22% of people eat it less than once a month compared with 12% of the rest of the country.
We also uncovered some strong local preferences. It turns out that Newcastle has the highest preference for mushrooms on pizza in the whole country, with 55% of people choosing this topping as their most liked overall. On the other hand, Bristol dislikes Margherita the most, with it gaining just 7% of the votes, despite this being the nation’s favourite topping overall.
The data also shows a North-South divide in topping preference – Northerners are more likely to favour meaty toppings such as pepperoni, whereas Southerners favour more vegetables, such as mushrooms. Big cities such as London and Manchester are more likely to favour toppings like olives and anchovies, that are generally considered unlikeable by the nation as a whole.
|City||Favourite Topping||Least Favourite Topping|
|Belfast||Margherita/ Chicken (46.2%)||Anchovies (53.8%)|
|Birmingham||Mixed Cheese (38.7%)||Anchovies (38.7%)|
|Bristol||Ham (44.9%)||Olives (42%)|
|Cardiff||Ham (45%)||Anchovies (54.2%)|
|Edinburgh||Pepperoni (40.5%)||Anchovies (45.9%)|
|Glasgow||Chicken (36.6%)||Anchovies (48.8%)|
|Leeds||Margherita (54.5%)||Anchovies (47.6%)|
|Liverpool||Pepperoni (46.6%)||Anchovies (46.7%)|
|London||Margherita (50%)||Anchovies (34.2%)|
|Manchester||Pepperoni (47.9%)||Anchovies (24.5%)|
|Newcastle||Mushroom (55.8%)||Anchovies (50%)|
|Norwich||Mushroom (50%)||Jalapenos (48.6%)|
|Nottingham||Pepperoni (42.8%)||Anchovies (47.1%)|
|Sheffield||Pepperoni/ Mushroom (47.5%)||Anchovies (57.6%)|
|Southampton||Mixed Cheese (39.4%)||Anchovies (51.5%)|
Our survey found that men are more likely to favour meaty toppings such as pepperoni, with 55% of men stating this was their favourite topping. Women on the other hand are more likely to favour vegetable toppings, proven by 44% of women voting for mushrooms as their most liked. The largest disparity in the data between men and women was regarding pepperoni, with 35% of women saying they liked it compared to 51% of men! Women are also more likely to have strong dislikes towards toppings than men.
|Gender||Favourite Topping||Least Favourite Topping|
|Female||Mushroom (44.5%)||Anchovies (48.8%)|
|Male||Pepperoni (50.7%)||Anchovies (33.2%)|
When looking at age range differences, it’s clear that younger people eat more pizza. 40% of 25-34 year olds eat pizza once a week, compared to 21% of 55-64 year olds. The favourite pizza topping of people under 35 is Margherita, with 52% of their vote going towards it. We also discovered a notable increase in dislike for jalapenos at the age of 45!
|Age Range||Favourite Topping||Least Favourite Topping|
|18-24||Margherita (54%)||Anchovies (43.7%)|
|25-34||Margherita (49.6%)||Anchovies (32.1%)|
|35-44||Pepperoni (42.8%)||Anchovies (38.3%)|
|45-54||Mushroom (49.6%)||Anchovies (52.3%)|
|55-64||Mushroom (53.6%)||Anchovies (48.5%)|
|65+||Mixed Cheese (48.5%)||Anchovies (46.7%)|
In terms of eating methods, the most popular way of eating pizza is sliced and eaten with hands, with 68% of people favouring this method. 65 year olds and above are mostly like to eat pizza with a knife and fork, as are people in the South West of England. 18-24 year olds are more than twice as likely to roll or fold their pizza than other age ranges.
Aldo Zilli, Consultant Chef at San Carlo Restaurants said: “Some people might think a Margherita is boring, but it’s not, it’s all my family crave and just as popular at San Carlo’s collection of restaurants. Think of pizza as an edible plate; It’s all about using the best ingredients you can, the right mozzarella, the best tomatoes and dough. Pizzas have come a long way since I arrived in this country; I’m just relieved it’s Margherita and not pineapple!!”
So, it’s clear that the best pizza topping according to the UK is a simple Margherita, which is a strong favourite here at San Carlo too. Or, if like those in Manchester you love pepperoni, why not try our Pizza Rustica Piccante, with Calabrian ‘Nduja sausage, pepperoni, Tuscan sausage, chilli, tomato and rocket?
Check out our menu, book a table and eat a delicious pizza to celebrate National Pizza Day with us.