There are all sorts of fad gifts that hit the market for Valentine’s Day and the trend is continuing full force. Everyone is familiar with the Vermont bears, and the Pajama Gram, as well as a few other more intimate gifts for the little lady, but if you’re thinking of her appetite, you might want to forgo the chocolate and order a heart shaped pizza; or get both. According to marketing analysts following advertising on Google the number of searches for hearth-shaped pizza has increased by 230% since January, a clear indication that the big pizza chains had better have thought of the novelty pie if they want to get in on the public’s fascination for heart-shaped anything for Valentine’s Day, particularly those pizza makers in Illinois, Texas, and California, which report the most searches for the love pies.
One of then biggest pizza chains in the United States, Papa John’s, says that in 2010 they sold over 60,000 heart-shaped pizza pies and that in 2011 the number was probably similar. This year they expect to sell more than 75,000 of the novelty pies and they are marketing them big time to try to capture some of the dining-in business for the holiday. They say that the pizza is very popular with families that celebrate the day together.
It’s no surprise that Chicago is a popular area for the Valentine’s Day pizza pie considering their long tradition with the deep-dish variety of the American fast-food staple. One popular pizzeria in Chicago, Lou Malnati’s, says that weeks before Valentine’s Day their deep dish version of the heart shaped pizza becomes their most popular pizza pie and that now Valentine’s Day is their second businest time of the year, just behind the holiday season around Christmas. They have been making a heart shaped pizza pie for the event for the last 22 years, when the son of the original owner came up with the idea.
They now ship their pizza’s all over the United States in addition to their multiple locations in Chicago, and the orders for this year’s heart pizza pies appear to be on pace for a new record.
I think its a novel idea for the holiday but I never thought that anyone could actually have the heart-shaped pizza become such a big money-maker. Chicago is the perfect location for the deep dish version of the pizza since it definitely makes for a much more dramatic presentation.