SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

December 29, 2008 10:43 ET

January "Peak Pizza Month," Americans to Make More Than 60 Million Yellow Pages Searches for Their Favorite Pie

Annual Spike in Pizza References Driven by Young Bachelors

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ--(Marketwire - December 29, 2008) - Americans nationwide will wake up January 1st and turn to the Yellow Pages to help curb their appetites, kicking off 2009 with one of their favorite meals -- pizza, lots of pizza.

In fact, the Yellow Pages are preferred reading for tens of millions of U.S. consumers looking to satisfy their hunger at New Year's Day parties, college bowl game blowouts, NFL playoff game gatherings, and other post-holiday festivities.

Fortunately for pizza retailers, consumers searching Yellow Pages are putting their money where their fingers and Internet clicks are. They are significant contributors to the more than $6 billion Americans spent on pizza last January, according to Liz Barrett, editor-in-chief of PMQ's Pizza Magazine, an industry publication.

According to the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), the "Pizza" heading -- the fifth most used out of more than 4,000 total Yellow Pages headings -- reaches its highest usage in January(1). It had some 60 million searches in the month last year. For the entire year, the "Pizza" heading generated more than 318 million searches(1) on its own and was responsible for 22 percent -- or another 280 million searches -- under the "Restaurant" heading. In other words, pizza accounts for more than half a billion Yellow Pages searches every year.

Local Independent Pizzerias Drive Yellow Pages Usage

When referencing the "Pizza" Yellow Pages heading, 52 percent of consumers are looking for a local pizza restaurant(1). Of the 76,355 pizzerias in the U.S., 65 percent are independently owned, according to PMQ's Pizza Magazine's 2008 report.

"The big chains are the most accessible," Barrett said. "They often send out flyers and purchase TV spots. There is less information on independently owned pizzerias, which is probably why so many consumers turn to the Yellow Pages for local pizza restaurants."

"Independent pizzeria owners know that Yellow Pages advertising will reach the local consumer, as well as achieve a superior return on investment," said Larry Small, director of research for the YPA. "The average return on investment received from local display ads at the pizza heading is $7 of sales revenue for every $1 spent on advertising(2)."

Young Adult Males, Americans in the Northeast Most Often Reference "Pizza"

Those most likely to reference the "Pizza" heading are 18- to 24-year-old males with a college degree(2). They also tend to be single, renters, and live in the Northeast(2).

"The Northeast is saturated with pizzerias," said Barrett. "There is a high pizzeria-to-person ratio. In fact, the highest saturation is in Maine, where there are about four pizzerias for every 10,000 people."

The census region with the second highest frequency of references is the Midwest, followed by the West and South regions(1).

For more information on Yellow Pages headings, visit http://www.ypassociation.org/.

(1) Knowledge Networks/SRI, May 2008

(2) CRM Associates 2007

About The Yellow Pages Association

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $31 billion worldwide ($14 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

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