Riccardo the Pizza Artisan range

Hand-made in Sydney’s Inner West, Riccardo the Pizza Artisan, brings ready-made, restaurant quality pizzas into the home. Cooked in 6-8 minutes, this pizza offers customers an authentic and healthier alternative to ready-made pizzas in speciality grocers and supermarkets throughout Australia.

Offering both Classic and Gourmet ranges, Riccardo personally guarantees that each pizza is made with love and respects the authenticity and quality of Calabrian pizza. True to takeaway size, light yet filling and topped with ethically sourced ingredients, Riccardo the Pizza Artisan is changing the way consumers think about ready-made pizza.

Pizza Hut takes leaf out of Coles’ book

Pizza Hut Australia has made a strategic move as it continues to take a larger slice of the food-on-the-go consumer spend. The business has begun trialling service station kiosks to bring further accessibility to the brand. Driven by Allegro Funds, Pizza Hut has partnered with Euro Garages Australia and has opened its second kiosk in a Liverpool based service station in New South Wales, with a third planned to open in early 2021.

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Grading pizza using artificial intelligence

Domino’s Pizza has  announced the launch of its DOM Pizza Checker, which is designed to  improve product quality and consistency throughout all Domino’s stores in Australia and New Zealand.

The technology has been introduced to tackle one of the Company’s most common customer complaints; “My pizza doesn’t look like it should?”

Domino’s Australia CEO, Nick Knight, said DOM Pizza Checker will address this concern by ensuring that only the highest quality pizzas go out the door, even in busy periods, eliminating inconsistency in product quality.

“DOM Pizza Checker [is] a smart scanner that sits above the cut bench and checks the quality of every pizza; working alongside our team members to help them make and bake pizzas to perfection every single time,”  Knight said. “If the pizza meets our high standards it’s good to go and if it’s not made right, we’ll make it again. This means our team members won’t lose focus on quality during busy periods and our customers can have greater confidence in our products.

“Currently, DOM Pizza Checker can recognise, analyse and grade pizzas based on pizza type, correct toppings and even distribution. It does this by capturing an image of the pizza and using artificial intelligence to compare this data with a large dataset of correct pizzas, making a quick assessment.

“Later this year we will be releasing even more features, including the ability to provide customers with a real-time image of their pizza on the cut bench. As part of this process, they will also be notified if their pizza has failed our strong quality testing, resulting in a remake,” Knight said.

Domino’s Pizza CEO’s pay packet tops a list of record-breaking earners in Australia

The Australian Domino’s Pizza CEO is earning more than a slice of pizza as he tops the list of highest payed bosses in the country.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) found that the highest paid ASX200 CEO in the 2017 financial year was Don Meij from Domino’s.

With more than $36 million to his name that year, Meij’s earnings supersede CEO’s from other large companies in Australia.

The second highest earners were Peter and Steven Lowy from Westfield Corp, who earned about $25.9m.

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Macquarie Group’s CEO, Nicholas Moore wasn’t far off second place with a generous $25.2m.

Persistent and increasing bonus payments drove remuneration to record levels, according to the latest analysis from ACSI.

The pay packets have been the highest reported for ASX100 CEOs since the study began 17 years ago.

The report found that all but six of the 80 CEOs eligible for a bonus received one.

The median bonuses awarded to CEOs was at 70.5 per cent of their maximum entitlement.

ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said at a time when public trust in businesses was low and wage growth was week, board decisions to pay large bonuses for hitting budget targets rather then for exceptional performance was “especially tone deaf”.

“This may be a sign that boards have lost sight of the link between a company’s social licence and the expectations of communities and investors.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when bonuses have become such a sure thing.”

If the issue was not addressed voluntarily, legislative intervention may be needed to give shareholders a greater say, Davidson said.

“We will be looking closely at bonus outcomes in the upcoming reporting season. If they’re not transparent and reflective of performance, we will be recommending that our members vote against those remuneration reports.”

There were too few female CEOs in the ASX200 for ACSI to analyse gender pay equality in its survey.

ACSI counted more CEOs called Andrew in the ASX100 sample than women.

Other top earners included Chris Rex from Ramsay Health Care at $22.3m and Alan Joyce from Qantas Airways at $11.2m.

Arte Bianca’s Paterno rocks Aussie pizza champs

Mark Paterno of Sydney’s Arte Bianca pizza e vino has made an instant impact at the Dairymont Australian Pizza Championships, claiming this year’s Overall Winner’s title as well as the Meat/Poultry and Best Interpretation of Sponsors’ Products categories.

In his first appearance at the championships, which this year were held at the ICC Sydney convention centre as part of the Foodservice Australia trade event over May 27-29, Mr Paterno demonstrated a breadth of impressive capabilities, says head judge and event founder Glenn Austin.

“To win the event overall you need to be familiar with the criteria, modern trends and a sound technician – Mark covered all aspects,” says Mr Austin.

He says these skills and attention to detail were particularly evidenced in Mr Paterno’s winning Sponsors’ Products creation.

“Mark studied the criteria as well as determining how best to showcase the sponsors’ products. His ability to create and construct a first-class pizza by using techniques that actually enhanced the sponsored products, put him ahead of his fellow competitors.”

Expressing humble appreciation to event organisers and sponsors, Mr Paterno credits his hattrick of awards to a combination of methodic development and expression of flair.

“First of all my dough, which has been an evolution for the last 25 years I’ve been pizza making,” he says.

“Secondly, my combination of toppings. Matching foods together like lamb and potato – a typical, much-loved Australian dish – which I modified by using lamb sausage and purple potato, and adding a beautiful stracciatella cheese.

“Also, with the Sponsors’ Products pizza – less is more – accentuating the beautiful mushrooms with a garlic and chili base.”

Although a first-time competitor in the Dairymont Australian Pizza Championships, Mr Paterno has experience in the field. He previously competed four times at the World Pizza Championships in Italy (achieving first place from Australia in 2015) and twice entered other events when owning a Queensland restaurant.

“The Dairymont Australian Pizza Championships are extremely well organised and run with transparency in judging and scoring,” continues Mr Paterno.

“It’s a great opportunity for pizza chefs from across the county to come together, learn from each other and compare pizzas, and also a fantastic networking opportunity.”

Having adjudicated this year’s championships alongside fellow high-profile and qualified international judges Arnold Tanzer and John Slone, Mr Austin also praises the 2018 competitors across the board for their “clever use of ingredients”.

“It was interesting to see the use of Farm Fresh Fine Foods’ vegetable purees combined with a functional cheese like the Dairymont Mozzarella, and the use of Dairymont parmesan as the seasoning featured in a number of pizzas this year.”

Noting seven of the eight awards this year were bestowed to first-time entrants, Mr Austin says he is rapt to see the “outstanding” interest the competition continues to generate in the sector.

“Event manager Monique Cribb had to close down entries after we went through a heavy vetting process approximately two weeks prior to the event.

“When discussing obtaining event partnership, people will tell you how hard it is to get sponsors/partners – I humbly disagree. Give industry partners a value proposition, that shows a return on investment, and it is very achievable.

“We attend Foodservice Australia because it represents a value proposition for my event. In turn, sponsors participate in the Australian Pizza Championships.”

Looking ahead to next year’s event, which is to be held over June 23-25 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Mr Austin says the competition is going to be further intensified.

“We have added new criteria and will be pushing for greater innovation in the pizza industry.

“I am proud to announce that all sponsors/partners have indicated they will be participating in next year’s event and subsequent to that, I have booked a larger space at the Foodservice Australia event.”

Entries to the Dairymont Australian Pizza Championships 2019 will open in August this year.

Dairymont Australian Pizza Championships 2018 full winners’ list

Overall 2018 Winner – Mark Paterno of Arte Bianca (Sydney)
First Overall Runner Up – James Parker of Alphonsus Pizza of The Glen Hotel (QLD)
Second Overall Runner Up – Raffaele Brotzu of Delisio Pizza Romana (WA)
Meat/Poultry Category – Mark Paterno of Arte Bianca (Sydney)
Best Interpretation of Sponsors’ Products Category – Mark Paterno of Arte Bianca (Sydney)
Seafood Category – Michele Circhirillo (repeat winner) of 48H Pizza e Gnocchi Bar (VIC)
Vegetarian or Gluten Free Category – Charlie Lawrence of Lost in a Forest (SA)
Dessert Category – James Parker of Alphonsus Pizza of The Glen Hotel (QLD)
As the Overall Winner, Mr Paterno earned a fishing and golfing experience at Agnes Waters (QLD) while staying in a luxury beachfront apartment at the Sandcastles Resort 1770.

Monster 1.8km pizza breaks Guinness record [VIDEO]

Chefs in Naples have made a 1,853.88 metre pizza and brought the Guinness World Record back to the home of the pizza.

The ABC reports that the previous longest pizza record of 1,595.45 metres was set at last year’s World Expo in Milan.

More than 200 chefs took 11 hours to create the extra-long pizza. They cooked it in five specially-made portable wood fire ovens and used 2,000 kg of flour, 1,600 kg of tomatoes, 2,000 kg of fiordilatte cheese and 200 litres of olive oil.

According to Guinness World Records, the record breaking feat took place during the ‘L’Unione Fa La Pizza’ event. It was organised by Oramata, the company behind Napoli Pizza Village, in partnership with Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, City of Naples, and Univerde Foundation.


Dr. Oetker takes a healthy slice of the pizza business

Founded in 1891, German food processor Dr. Oetker is cutting up the Australian Ready-to-Cook market with a blend of new pizza taste profiles coupled with their well-kneaded European pedigree. Branko Miletic talks to Dr. Oetker’s Executive Manager Marketing – Pizza, Paula Wyatt, about why this brand of pizza is fast becoming Australia’s favourite slice of pie.

Food Magazine (FM): What are the main differences between your pizzas and other brands in terms of ingredients, preparation and production?

Paula Wyatt (PW): Our main brands of frozen pizza here in Australia – Dr. Oetker Ristorante and Papa Giuseppi’s Bakehouse crust are both pan pressed pizzas, meaning the dough is pressed into pans, proved and baked.  This gives an extremely light crispy texture to the crust and gives the consumer a very consistent product each time. 

(FM): How does the Ready to Cook (RTC) market differ in Australia to Europe?

(PW): There are big differences in the frozen pizza market between Australia and Europe.  For example household penetration of frozen pizza is low in Australia at 47 per cent compared to Europe, which can range between 75-90 per cent.  
There are some significant consumer barriers in Australia to overcome, taste and quality being the main concerns, where consumers have not experienced frozen pizza for many years and remember the lower quality offerings of old.   There is a perception that frozen pizza is poor quality and is just for kids to fill them up.    
In the UK and Canada as two examples frozen pizza takes a 20 per cent and 27 per cent share, respectively, of total pizza consumption (including takeaway, chilled, and restaurants).  The share in Australia is 8 per cent.
There is significant potential to grow the market by attracting new households.  Dr. Oetker Ristorante has been and will continue to be a key driver of unlocking this growth – it has the highest loyalty and weight of purchase of any frozen pizza brand, once trialled, consumers are genuinely delighted with the quality and that it delivers on it’s pizzeria taste promise.  
The target is to bring this to a wider audience and demonstrate to Australian consumers that there is great taste available in frozen pizzas.

(FM): Are there certain flavours / combinations that sell more in Australia than overseas?

(PW): There is a definitely a bias towards meatier toppings in Australia.  BBQ Meatlovers is the best selling topping with Pepperoni and Supreme also performing well.  Again this is one of the ways that Ristorante offers something different to the market.  Our range of nine varieties is the widest of any frozen pizza brand where Mozzarella (slices of mozzarella, tomato and garnished with pesto), Spinaci (spinach garnished with garlic cream sauce), Funghi (sliced mushrooms with garlic sauce), Bolognese and Prosciutto sit with the more traditional Pepperoni and Hawaiian.

(FM): How much of the market do you currently have here and in Europe?

(PW): Dr. Oetker’s share of the frozen pizza market in Australia is 28 per cent inside the 5 years since launch.   This is second to McCain, who command 58 per cent share. (source: Nielsen Scan 52w/e 6/9/15).  The overall market is worth $AUD167.5m.    Market share varies in each country, by way of example in the UK it’s 40 per cent, in Germany it’s 37 per cent, in Spain it’s 30 per cent, and in Canada it’s 42 per cent.

(FM): You make meat-based pizzas here but import the non-meat ones from OS— are there benefits for this and are you planning to produce all your pizza’s here?

(PW): This remains a legacy of how we entered the market in Australia where vegetarian varieties were imported to “test” and establish the market before local production of meat based varieties started.   
At the moment we plan to continue to import these varieties, we often find our vegetarian flavours are more complex and contain more specific ingredients, it can be difficult to source the right ingredients locally to produce these efficiently at the quality we demand.  
We continue to work on this, as you can imagine it’s a long way to import these goods, adding some complexity to our supply chain.

(FM): Are you looking to diversify your range/offering in Australia and if so, to what products?

(PW): Our plan is to launch new concepts to help attract new consumers and grow the market here in Australia. 
We have a wide portfolio globally and expertise we can draw on – however it’s really important to bring concepts that appeal to Australian consumers, have the right taste profile and effectively target and convert these new consumers for future growth.  Therefore we invest heavily in consumer research to understand potential gaps and how best to fill these with the right concepts for this market.  
The market here is underdeveloped and a number of key areas are our focus for growth – for example crust styles, occasions (snacks, main meal, sharing), topping trends etc.

Eagle Boys fly off with new products

As Eagle Boys Express approaches its 10-year anniversary at Brisbane Airport the menu continues to expand with new products successfully taking off.  

 Eagle Boys Express, working with corporate caterer Spotless Group at their Brisbane Airport store Cavu, have developed a tailored menu to include options at the airport catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks.
New products have been cooked up specifically for Cavu, including a sub-sandwich range – Chicken Club, Southern Style Chicken, Classic Steak Sandwich, Old Fashioned Meatball and the New York Roast Beef Special; and Cajun chicken tenderloins extending the menu beyond Eagle Boys Express’ pizza.  All menu options are cooked within three minutes (or less).
Brand manager Robin Heslehurst said the Eagle Boys Express model was designed to allow it to adapt and respond to consumer trends.
“The Eagle Boys Express system was opened at Brisbane Domestic Airport in 2006 when the Spotless Group wanted to fill a space left by a juice bar,” he said.
“Fast forward a decade and Spotless Group continues to support new innovations in food service.
“Spotless Group, like Eagle Boys Express is an Australian brand focused on innovation, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership at locations around the country.”
Eagle Boys Express partners with corporate groups and established businesses to offer its products through airports, convenience stores, petrol stations, cinemas and shopping centres.
The system can be incorporated into businesses using existing equipment, with staff and business owners receiving optimum training.