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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 15:35 GMT
'Simpsons rush' boosts Domino's Pizza
Domino's Pizza expects home delivery pizza sales to double by 2010
Domino's controls one-fifth of the pizza delivery market
The rising number of single people together with interactive episodes of The Simpsons are helping Domino's Pizza grab an ever-larger slice of the 1bn pizza delivery market.

The chain currently controls one-fifth of the pizza delivery market in the UK and Ireland - a market it estimates will more than double by 2010.

Changing demographics and better online and digital technology are key factors driving up pizza sales, according to the think-tank The Future Foundation.

People can afford to be lazy

Guy Diamond Time Out Magazine

Research commissioned by Domino's Pizza suggested increasing number of couples without children and single person households are likely to spend more money on eating out and ordering convenience food.

'Lazy'

"As people have more money to spend, they can afford to be lazy", says Guy Diamond, food and drink editor at Time Out Magazine.

Time is also a factor according to Pat Dunese, who runs two Domino's franchises in the central Scotland area.

Total home delivered food market
worth 1.058 billion in 2002 (up 56% in value since 1997)
makes up 70% of total take-away sector (62% in 1997)
pizza makes up 36%
"I can deliver a very hot pizza to someone's door in less time than it would take them to cook a meal.

"People have become much more time-conscious over the years and that is helping businesses like ours."

The Simpsons

Couch potatoes watching the popular 'The Simpsons' cartoons on interactive television can already order a Domino's pizza during advertising breaks.

All they need to do is press the little red button on their control and place their order.

"We call this The Simpsons rush", explains Mr Dunese.

"After our name flashes up on screen during The Simpsons sometime after six o'clock at night, we see a large increase in orders."

As the number of people with access to interactive technologies rises, Domino's expects more and more pizzas to be ordered from the couch or behind a desk rather than via the telephone.

Although only 2 to 3% of Domino's pizzas are ordered through new technologies in the UK, that percentage is likely to grow.

Paul Hickman, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt told BBC News Online.

The Domino's brand name is rapidly becoming synonymous with pizza delivery

Paul Hickman, KBC Peel Hunt
"Domino's have the best network in the country for online and interactive ordering. That could very well give them the edge over their competitors."

But Guy Diamond of Time Out Magazine said it has to be up to speed.

"Most people ordering a take-away want it quick."

Ahead of the game?

The pizza delivery market in the UK is a fragmented one. It is dominated by Domino's, followed by Pizza Hut and the independent pizza deliverers.

But Domino's could very well be ahead of the game in years to come, predicts Hickman.

"The Domino's brand name is rapidly becoming synonymous with pizza delivery.

"The independents are strong competitors but none of them have got the brand power that Domino's has," suggested Mr Hickman.

See also:

24 Jul 02 | Business
11 Feb 02 | Business
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