The Psychology of How Pizza Became a Comfort Food

What’s your ultimate comfort food? Whether pizza is on top of that list or not, it surely is one of the items on your list of comfort food. Do you remember what you liked to eat as a college freshman? What source of comfort did you receive from eating slices of pizza during exam week? How about a big breakup? Aside from chocolates, do you remember eating cheesy and gooey pizza while watching your favorite breakup movies?

Somehow, pizza has become your ultimate source of comfort and solace during trying times. It’s no wonder a lot of entrepreneurs want to build their own pizza franchise. They know the market very well. They know that there is a demand that needs to be met.

Everybody’s Comfort Food

What’s not to love about pizza? It has meat and cheese. It’s a carb-loaded treat for everyone. You can fill it up with protein if you’re trying to build muscle. You can have it with tomato sauce or white sauce. You can have pineapples on it. Or you can prefer to have it vegetarian and load it up with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and olives.

It brings you back to your fondest childhood memories when your parents brought home a box of pizza. You and your siblings would even argue over who should get the biggest slice. You’d even try to “steal” some toppings off your sibling’s slice. These are fond memories that people remember when they eat pizza.

It’s for Everyone

eating pizza with friends

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like pizza. Everyone eats pizza. Even your most picky-eater friend loves pizza. So this is the perfect food to bring to a party or when you want someone to feel better. It can be hard to find a menu as diverse as pizza. You can remove ingredients that trigger allergies. The pie can be made without flour. It can be customized according to your dietary restrictions.

In the workplace, pizza allows sharing and, thus, improves cooperation and teamwork. Since this is a food that most people gravitate toward, it has become the common denominator among coworkers. Want to grab a beer after work? Yes, sure. That includes a box of pizza, too.

It’s in the Smell

Here’s another interesting theory: it’s not how the pizza tastes that affects the way people feel about it. It’s actually the smell. Research shows that people feel the highest level of joy when they smell pizza baking in the oven. The percentage of feeling joy is higher than how people feel when they actually see the pizza. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Think about all the times you smelled pizza while coming home from work. Doesn’t it make you feel exhilarated? It makes you want to grab a box for yourself.

Do an experiment the next time you host a party. Try to ask everyone to bring pizza with toppings of their choice. You’ll discover how enjoyable it is to see people bonding over different toppings. Some might even argue about the best toppings, sauce, and crust.

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