Tomatoes take the lead

Trending ideas with umami-rich tomatoes in pasta, pizza and more

Pizza and pasta are two menu categories that are proven winners for many restaurant operators. Each spins off into wonderful possibilities, but we’re homing on the most popular style for both, then exploring trends within that narrower focus. Of course, we’re talking about tomato-based pasta dishes and tomato-based pizzas.

Kraft Heinz offers a variety of high-quality tomato sauces and tomato products, answering a range of modern menu needs, from sugo to marinara and everything in between. Our sauces, from Escalon to Bell’Orto to Heinz products, are available ready-to-use or ready-to-customize.

pizza trends

Pizza is a surefire fit on restaurant menus, promising both comfort and craveability. The challenge for operators is to differentiate within a very competitive landscape. Of course, quality ingredients and sound technique are the foundation, but here are three pizza trends we’re tracking:

Pizza by the Slice

In the pizza category, the slice is perhaps the trend that offers the most opportunity today. It serves up portability, snackability and value. The key differentiator behind today’s slice—versus the classic cheese or pepp—is the promise of artisanship and eclectic flavour combinations.

Detroit-Style Pizza

With its rectangular shape and lacy cheese edge, Detroit-style pizza boasts a craveable caramelized cheese crust and a zesty layer of tomato sauce. Its popularity has moved outside of the Motor City and is trending on menus across the U.S. Now, it’s finding its way onto more Canadian menus, thanks to the allure of a crispy bottom, an airy, thick dough and a savoury, crispy cheese edge. Detroit-style pizza also travels and reheats well, making it particularly appealing for these times.

Cup ‘n Char Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni cups (also called ’roni cups or cup-and-char pepperoni) are having a moment, thanks to their Instagram-friendly allure — the shape of the meat holds rendered golden oil in the centre, providing indulgent flavour with every bite.  According to Datassential, pepperoni is the number-one pizza topping, so differentiating your offering with something new-but-familiar is a smart, fun strategy.

Tomato on Top

Out of the 8 top sauces paired with pizzas, 50% feature tomatoes1

pasta trends

Pasta Bake

Comfort-centric pasta bakes provide diners with a safe format that promises something craveable. And with comfort food continuing to sway diners, pasta bakes are an easy middle ground that offer familiarity while giving chefs a format that invites signature flavour. For operators, bakes are also versatile menu options that can be batched in advance, taking pressure off of the line during service hours. Feature both Italian classics, like penne arrabbiata, with its fiery tomato sauce, and global profiles, like a Greek-themed pasta bake with tomato, oregano, feta and pistachio crumble.

Plant-Forward Pasta

Tap into the plant-forward trend, leveraging pasta as a familiar and beloved carrier. By showcasing the bounty of the season and all of the stunning colours that produce brings to the plate, you’ll also showcase creative culinary technique and careful sourcing. Modern inclusions include carrot-top pesto, smoked mushrooms, charred tomatoes, black truffle fonduta and crispy farro.

Pasta partners

Tomato is a “proven favourite” with pasta dishes so using it as a foundational ingredient makes good sense. To complement the tomato-based sauce, here are trending ingredients that work well as high-impact ingredients2:













boost umami with

tomato paste

Tomato paste is loaded with umami, that savoury, meaty flavour that introduces depth, complexity and dimension. By adding a little bit of this pantry staple in unexpected applications, you’ll dial up the crave factor, enhancing and enriching the flavour experience:

Heinz Tomato Paste

Renée’s Roasted Garlic Aioli

Fresh Basil

Heinz Tomato

Philadelphia Cream Cheese



Heinz Tomato

Pancake Batter



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