I noticed a box on the kitchen counter last night. Totino’s Party Pizza which my husband had made himself for lunch (cooked in the microwave no doubt….thanks, but I pass….). What caught my attention was the claim that it is “America’s Best Selling frozen pizza.” This got me to wondering what this claim was based on. For those of you not familiar with it, Totino’s is a small, one-person sized pizza that sells for less than $1.50.
I visited the Totino’s web site and learned that Totino’s was the first nationally distributed frozen pizza in the United States and that they sell, on average, one million pizzas a day. The founders of Totino’s grew up in the depression and Rose Totino recalls scrounging for food on the school playground during the depression when she was a young girl. Eventually the Totinos sold the business to Pillsbury for $22 million. Rose Totino was also named the company's first female executive vice president.
This is a great story of perseverance and success, but I still wonder, what is the claim of “America’s Best Selling frozen pizza” based on.” After looking around Totino’s web site and not finding any details related to that claim, I turned to Google. While I learned that Americans spend almost $40 BILLION on fresh and frozen pizzas annually and according to ChaCha “The most current data says that 1.DiGiorno 2.Tombstone 3.Red Baron 4.Tony's 5.Jack's are the most popular frozen pizza brands.”
But ChaCha doesn’t indicate what the “current data” actually is.
Next I turned to the consumer help line at Pillsbury/General Mills. The representative I spoke with did not have any information as to what that claim was based on except to say that it was “Based on sales compared to other brands.” So I still don’t know whether this is based on (1) units sold, (2) dollars spent or perhaps some other data source.
But regardless, they sure do sell a lot of pizzas if they are selling over 300 million a year…