Pizza is one of the most popular foods around and perfect for most occasions. Pizza parties, game day, or just a Friday night-in, pizza is always there for you. DiGiorno is a well known frozen pizza brand that prides itself on being on par with fresh take out, so you might be interested to know the Top 10 Untold Truths About DiGiorno Pizza.
10. Sad Cows Make Sad Cheese
Most companies today care about issues beyond their own bottom line – at least they pretend to. Perhaps it comes from a genuine concern for their fellow man, but it could also just be they are concerned about their fellow man’s inclination to open their wallet. With that said, it’s practically impossible for every company to know exactly what goes on with all of their partners at all times, but it would be a good idea to keep an eye out once in a while. Digiorno got a taste of this reality back in 2014 when a disturbing video of one of their dairy farmers mistreating milk cows went public. The video involved the Wiese Brothers Farm, a farm that sold its milk to a company that supplied cheese to Nestle USA for its DiGiorno pizzas. Depending on how you look at it, DiGiorno is either free of the blame since they weren’t in contact with the culprits or is an irresponsible corporate entity that allowed this to slide right past their noses. In any case, the company moved quickly to end its association with the farm in question and tried to limit the damage to its reputation and sales as much as possible. The farm was investigated by several government authorities, including the local Sheriff’s department, and the animal activist group that shot the video put a lot of pressure on the public to ensure the animals would be treated as humanely as possible. This was one incident DiGiorno probably wished had remained untold.
9. The Pizza Pandemic
The Pandemic that the world has been dealing with since last winter has hit billions of people hard with the loss of businesses, jobs, and loved ones. The restaurant industry has been particularly affected because a lot of governments have restricted or even ended indoor, and outdoor dining, in some cases. In these circumstances, drive-thru and delivery have become popular and more widespread than ever. Pizza delivery has, of course, got a boost, but DiGiorno never had to rely on delivery because of its status as a popular frozen pizza you make at home. This convenience has made frozen, ready-to-eat meals like DiGiorno’s pizza even more popular during the ongoing pandemic. Supermarketnews.com has reported that 7 in 10 shoppers have increased their purchases of frozen foods, which includes frozen pizza. In March 2020, there was a brief but stunning 94% jump in frozen food sales, and by April, the surge had declined but was still 30% higher than the previous year. The convenience and the relatively long shelf life of frozen foods make them a particularly appealing option during these difficult times since most people are trying to stock their fridge with as much food as they can. And let’s face it, frozen pizza might just be one of the best ways to do so. Be honest, how many of us have at least one frozen pizza in our freezer right now?
8. Hit’Em Like A Truck
We’re all about fast delivery when it comes to pizza. And you’d think you wouldn’t have to worry about that when it’s frozen. Well, turns out, on a fateful day in Little Rock, Arkansas, it really wasn’t delivery. It was Digiorno Pizza… spilled all over I-30! An 18-wheeler packed to the brim with tons of DiGiorno pizza had the bad luck of scraping a bridge support, which resulted in a major pizza fiasco. Hundreds of boxes were scattered all over the road – blocking the busy interstate for over 4 hours – and needed to be cleared and scraped away. The whole thing took place right in front of the Arkansas Department of Transportation – which we can’t help but point out does sound a little ironic. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but there were a lot of pizza fatalities. Pizzas splattered, sauce spilled, and hearts broken were all that was left. Oh, and also a “slippery spot” that covered a good part of the I-30 because of all the diesel. And the cheese. And the pepperoni. And the sauce. Basically, the whole road reassembled a giant pizza, just with cement as a dough. This cheesy incident gave a whole new meaning to fast delivery, that’s for sure.
7. Plant-Based Pizza
Nestle Foods owns another company called Sweet Earth Natural Foods. This brand might not be as well-known as, let’s say, DiGiorno or Tombstone, but the frozen food company is making a name for itself in the meatless meat market. With the plant-based industry gaining popularity, DiGiorno decided to jump on the bandwagon in 2019 and released a pizza line topped with meat alternatives. Now, it’s not everyone who’s willing to accept the departure of meat on their pizza, but for those in search of a healthier and “vegetarian-friendly” option, these are a perfect choice. So, if you love DiGiorno pizza but want to try a meatless or plant-based option, you can give the frozen pizzas from Sweet earth Natural Foods a try. These pizzas are available in the same frozen food sections, just like the regular kinds, so you won’t need to search for days on end to get your hands on one. They feature Awesome Grounds — a plant-based meat substitute created by Sweet Earth. Awesome Grounds is made from yellow pea protein, wheat gluten, and canola and coconut oils and closely mimics the texture of ground beef. Not only is it healthier, but it’s also as tasty as ever. The only downside about these is that they’re not entirely vegan-friendly yet. There’s still that good, ol’ cheese on top, so vegans, you’ll have to wait for a dairy-free version to come out. But still, it’s a pretty big step for DiGiorno, and we can only assume it’s the beginning of a new era.
6. Wyngz Over DiGiorno
Buffalo Chicken wings are right up there with pizza for all-time party food king. And just like pizza, wings have expanded into almost innumerable varieties, including the popular boneless versions. And DiGiorno, like many other food companies, has tried to earn its place in the chicken wing market. The frozen pizza giant came out with its own version of wings cleverly called “Wyngz” with a Y and Z. These wings are of the boneless variety, so they are more like chicken nuggets. Wyngz are sometimes paired with DiGiorno’s frozen pizza as a side order. This pairing was definitely a brilliant idea to satisfy not only the pizza lovers but the wing lovers as well. Various flavored and spiced chicken wings have become almost omnipresent at many restaurants and companies trying to put their own spin on this food, so it’s not surprising DiGiorno threw its hat into the ring. It’s not exactly a secret that DiGiorno Pizza sees itself as equal or better than delivery, but can their Wyngz measure up? Why yes, of course! The secret is that these Wygnz are spelled with a Y and Z because they contain absolutely no chicken wing meat. This product is technically described as a “chicken fritter product.” When you use quotation marks to name your food, maybe – just maybe- it should be cause for some concern. But, if they’re as delicious as these, bring on the air quotes!
5. In Canada, “It’s Not DiGiorno. It’s Delissio.”
DiGiorno frozen pizza has a Canadian cousin – or more like twin sister – and her name is Delissio Pizza. When Nestle bought Kraft Foods and basically became the company that makes everyone’s favorite frozen pizza, they rebranded DiGiorno as Delissio in Canada. According to the folks at leaf.tv, Delissio is a gourmet frozen pizza and is without a doubt one of Canada’s favorite pizzas. The frozen pizza brand has offered its customers the usual varieties like cheese and pepperoni, the crispy pan pizza, stuffed crust – basically all the same features as its American counterpart; it simply goes under a different name. They even have a different but similar slogan: “It’s not delivery, it’s Delissio,” which also plays on how this frozen pizza is supposed to be better than delivery. The name Delissio came from a previous Kraft frozen pizza product that was sold in the late 1980s, they just kept the name since it was familiar – I guess they didn’t want to confuse people too much. Oh, and also because, well, it is delizioso. With funny commercials and, a cheerful website, and unmatched deliciousness, Delissio has proven time and again that pizza can be just as good when frozen!
4. Make Your Own Pizza
Customizing your pizza to your own desires is usually a luxury you can only get when you order from a restaurant. However, in 2014, DiGiorno tried to up the game by coming up with the frozen pizza version of this concept: the Design-A-Pizza Kit – kind of like Kramer’s build your own pizza restaurant idea. The kit came with the tomato sauce already on the frozen pizza dough and included a wide choice of toppings like a variety of meats, vegetables, seasoning packets, and shredded cheese. People were free to choose what and how much they wanted to put on their pizza before sliding their creations in their ovens. This sounds like such a winning idea, perfect for a “home-style” pizza night and to make the whole thing more personal. But, sadly, these seemingly genius pizza kits didn’t stay around for long, much to pizza lovers chagrin. Perhaps people thought it was too much work to add their own toppings. Or perhaps it was DiGiorno who didn’t want to package every single item separately anymore. Either way, the “make your own pizza” concept didn’t take off, and the product was discontinued. Bummer. How great would it have been to finally be able to put that extra cheese without getting charged extra? But thankfully, we’ll always have the OG DiGiorno!
3. Pizza and Cookies!
DiGiorno has combined different foods into pizza boxes before – like the pairing of pizza with its own version of chicken wings. This was a good idea, granted, but then came the truly genius one: Pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Remember Nestle’s Toll House chocolate chips? Well, you can find a generous amount of this beloved cookie dough inside your pizza box. The only thing better than a hot pizza coming out of the oven is probably freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and DiGiorno knows that all too well – and we couldn’t be more grateful. Dinner and dessert are both taken care of by this savory and sweet combination of two of the most beloved foods: one box has everything covered. Some people will look at this product and recognize the ingenuity behind it, while others might argue that a combination of high-fat foods is probably not the best of ideas. Certainly, getting this pizza/cookie combination every single day wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do, but as a fun treat on a movie night, we don’t see the harm! With everything in moderation, a little pizza and cookies from time to time is perfectly justifiable. And, it can’t hurt that they just taste so dang good. You know what they say, you need to treat yourself as much as you can. So if you want to indulge in these little perfect combos, go right ahead; life is too short to say no to pizza and cookies!
2. Nestle Pizza
Nestle acquired Kraft Frozen Foods in 2010 for $3.7 billion. Along with DiGiorno, Kraft became the proud owner of California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone, Jack’s, and the Canadian frozen pizza brand, Delissio. Nestle is a huge corporation with billions in annual sales, and controlling this much of the pizza market doesn’t seem fair, does it? Well, DiGiorno is one of the most popular frozen pizza brands on the market, so they earned it! The purchase was actually a strategic move by Nestle to “leverage its pizza-making know-how in Europe.” Obviously, they had to modify some of the ingredients of DiGiorno’s pizza to be in compliance with Nestlé’s nutritional standards, but other than that, it stayed the same delicious pizza we all know and love today. As long as this giant company continues to make tasty, convenient foods that we can’t get enough of, t there will be little reason to complain. They’re only selling what they think their customers want in the first place, which is one of the important things that sets them apart from other brands.
Social media is on the rise, so people and companies feel like they have to use it – if not master it. In 2014, DiGiorno’s frozen pizza had a #footinmouth moment when employees tried to join an ongoing social media conversation about domestic violence. Football player Ray Rice made national news when a video of him striking his wife Janay surfaced and the hashtag – Why I Stayed – trended on social media. Supposedly, the folks at DiGiorno wanted to support battered women, but their flat-footed response was perceived as addressing the topic in a way that made it seem like they were just trying to sell more pizza. The offending tweets were called out, and DiGiorno immediately deleted them and apologized, but one has to wonder if they even knew what they were apologizing for. The company only apologized after getting called out, so presumably, they didn’t think there was anything wrong with the tweets when they posted them in the first place. Everyone makes mistakes, but the frozen pizza maker should have known better than to not get in the middle of a serious topic, but this is what happens when companies feel the need to virtual signal. If you live by the social media campaign, you have to be willing to fail by the social media campaign. It’s a stark reminder that the tweet is mightier than the sword.