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Pizza Consumption Mystery: Dinner or Snack?

We have just been made aware of a shocking fact about Pizza. At least, about how Americans view and consume Pizza. It could completely change the way we think of the stuff. Or not. But I felt you deserved to know. If you doubt its authenticity, I underline that it comes from a very reliable source…

USDA Pizza Pie Chart - © USDAThe USDA says Americans see Pizza more as a Snack. I maintain that
Canadians see it more as a full Meal…

Recent surveys show that 94 per cent of Americans eat Pizza regularly. That translates, according to some ‘experts’, to more than 30 billion pies a year. That’s no real surprise. Although, I’ll bet significantly fewer Canadians are as dedicated to the Pie as their American cousins. Alas, I’ve found no numbers to support or debunk my notion. So, let’s press on with the U.S. survey results…

More a snack than a meal?

No less an authority than the U.S. Department of Agriculture asserts that Americans eat more Pizza for snacks than they do for regular meals! Who would have thought it? I don’t know about you, but I’ve always viewed Pizza as a supper-time dish. Too heavy for Lunch, when you have to soldier on through the rest of a business day. Too savoury for Breakfast (maybe). Too much in all ways right before bed, unless you want to have nightmares in which a Pepperoni army is chasing you across a prairie of Cheese.

Who are those people, indeed?

Those who say they eat it for breakfast, that is. Well, I know at least one dietician who swears that leftover Pizza, hot or cold, is a much healthier breakfast than the usual Western meal, one piled high with starchy Cereals and Toast and lots of greasy proteins. The latter usually lack any vegetable content at all, a balance which Pizza does provide!

And let’s not forget those relatively-new ‘Breakfast Pizzas’ many restos and Hotel breakfasts are pushing. I have to assume, from the numbers, that the USDA counted those in its survey.

But more than half of Pizza inhaled as snacks? Really?

That, I find hard to believe. Although, that might be an American phenomenon, and the Canadian norms may not be reflected in the USDA numbers. I can envision tens of thousands of New Yorkers, LA-ites  and folks everywhere in between, grabbing a quick slice between meetings or during free class, to stoke up. Especially in New York, they like thin-crust Pizza with not a lot of toppings which would make it harder to preform the ‘NY Fold’, which I am advised is a universal practice there for folks eating their Pizza on the go.

More at lunch than dinner?

The foregoing would certainly tie in, nicely, with the USDA finding that Americans eat more than 2.5 times as much Pizza for Lunch as they do for Dinner. I’d have to say, at the very least, that Canadians would be found to be totally the other way around!


First of all, if Canadian Pizza parlour menus are any guide, Canadians like bigger, deeper, generously-topped Pizzas, by and large. We just see Pizza as something for a big meal; more than just a snack. And we tend to order more veggies on our pies than Americans. I’m not saying we’re more health-conscious than Americans. But, maybe we want those veggies because we see Pizza as a complete meal, rather than snack.

Who knew Pizza culture could be so remarkably different between such close neighbours?

For more Fun Pizza Facts…

Visit Pizza.com!

~ Maggie J.