Branded equipment concept offers convenience stores a route into £5 billion pizza market


Food supplier Country Choice has created a new branded pizza concept – complete with equipment support – for convenience retailers looking to generate income from hot food sales.

The company hopes that its ‘Flatstone Pizza Co’ concept will enable shops to take advantage of the UK’s £5 billion pizza market.

It gives them everything they need to serve made-to-order pizzas, including the equipment required to bake the pizzas.

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The concept includes a choice of three equipment options: a convection oven (unless the retailer already has a bake-off oven); a tabletop pizza deck that includes a fire-brick base to give a stone-baked result; or a Merrychef oven that speeds up the cooking time without compromising on quality.

A range of smallwares and prep items, such as chopping boards, knives, portioners, pizza cutters, pizza peels and temperature probes, are also supplied for those taking on the concept.

Retail operations manager, Neil Lindsell, commented: “Demand for pizza continues to grow, driven by big brand advertising and the growing home delivery sector. As a result, 85% of Brits now buy pizza so there has never been a better time for retailers to add it to their menu.

“The opportunity to include pizza as part of a takeaway or home delivery option is particularly beneficial to a retailer’s food to go offer as it allows them to extend it into the evening and secure incremental sales of accompaniments such as salad and alcohol.”

Country Choice, which is part of Brakes Group, has worked with a craft baker to create an Italian-inspired hand-stretched pizza base which means that 50% of the dough is slow-fermented for 24 hours to give the base a unique flavour and rustic appearance.

Each base is brushed with extra virgin olive oil and dusted with durum wheat semolina before being part-baked in a stone oven to create a thin crisp crust and air pockets.

A range of sauces are supplied in pouches, while frozen, chilled and ambient toppings come in small packs to minimise food waste and storage space.

Retailers will be provided with step-by-step recipe cards that enable them to create up to eight different pizzas, including margherita, pepperoni, BBQ chicken, meat feast, Hawaiian ham, ham and mushroom, chicken and pepperoni, and a ‘plant lovers’ pizza.

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Andrew Seymour

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