Let your fingers do the walking

Consumers may resolve to go on a diet every year, but according to the Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based Yellow Pages Association (YPA), pizza … lots of pizza … is the food most often consumed during the month of January. In fact, Americans spent more than $6 billion on pizza in January last year, says Liz Barrett, editor-in-chief of PMQ's Pizza Magazine.

According to the YPA, the “Pizza” heading – the fifth most used out of more than 4,000 total Yellow Pages headings – reaches its highest usage in January. It had some 60 million searches in the month last year. For the entire year, the "Pizza” heading generated more than 318 million searches 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.

When referencing the “Pizza” Yellow Pages heading, 52 percent of consumers are looking for a local pizza restaurant. Of the 76,355 pizzerias in the U.S., 65 percent are independently owned, according to PMQ's Pizza Magazine’s 2008 report. Those most likely to reference the “Pizza” heading are 18- to 24-year-old males with a college degree. They also tend to be single, renters, and live in the Northeast. “The Northeast is saturated with pizzerias,” says 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.

Oh well, perhaps we'll start dieting next January.