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DiGiorno Head-To-Head With Delivery In New Experiment

Facial recognition software shows fresh-baked pizza in the oven brings more joy to parties than delivery or carryout
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Solon, OH

In the U.S., 74 percent of people order carryout or delivery pizza at least once a month*. No surprise there. But what is surprising is that those people may be compromising the moods of themselves and the people around them by serving up pizza that was delivered or carried out. In an effort to determine which pizza makes for happier gatherings – delivery or fresh-baked from the oven – DiGiorno® pizza decided to conduct a social experiment that measured the effect on the moods of partygoers. At a series of gatherings, DiGiorno observed more joy when pizza was baking in the oven during parties than those that ordered carryout or delivery pizza.

Why We Did It

Last year alone, nearly 80 percent of all online posts about carryout and delivery were not positive**. That’s hundreds of thousands of pizza mishaps reflecting poor service, late arrival, cold pizza and wrong toppings from national chains.

Since DiGiorno pizza is fresh-baked from the oven, and doesn’t encounter the same issues as delivery, the brand tested the competition in a social experiment to find out which pizza party produced more happiness.

How We Did It

To conduct this experiment, DiGiorno partnered with real people to host friends and family for a series of six pizza parties. During each gathering, the room was set up with more than 20 high-resolution hidden cameras that captured footage of guests. We compared the moods of partygoers while DiGiorno pizza baked in the oven and when delivery was ordered from national chains.

Using facial recognition software, footage was then analyzed to identify patterns in emotion, such as smiles and frown lines, determining which pizza generated a more positive result. Measurements were based on the average change in reactions experienced before and after key pizza moments such as placing an order, arrival of delivery and the aroma of pizza filling the room. The results were clear: there was more joy observed at DiGiorno pizza parties.

The Results

At pizza parties that baked up a DiGiorno pizza in the oven, joy increased by an average of 27 percent. In comparison, at parties that ordered delivery, joy decreased by an average of 20 percent.

Other findings include:

  • Oven Ovation: When delivery pizza was ordered by phone or online, it made partygoers 24 percent less joyful – certainly not the same positive impact as placing DiGiorno in the oven.
  • Baked Feels Better: Baking up a DiGiorno pizza increased joy across gatherings, as partygoers were 17 percent more joyful when the smell of pizza filled the room and the oven timer rang. The arrival of delivery pizza at the door couldn’t compete as average joy increased only 2 percent.
  • Serving Up Satisfaction: Serving DiGiorno pizza straight from the oven made our partygoers more joyful than delivery pizza served straight from a box. In fact, pizza being delivered caused a 28 percent decrease in joy.

Overall, from placing pizza in the oven to the aroma of it permeating the room, partygoers were more joyful at our gatherings that had DiGiorno than those that relied on delivery.

“Our belief has always been that fresh-baked pizza helps people get more out of their occasions,” said Jeff Hamilton, President, Nestlé Foods Division, Nestlé USA. “This experiment was yet another chance for us to see how and why our pizza has that positive effect, especially at those same times when delivery might not.”

For more information on the findings, visit or check out

About the Social Experiment

DiGiorno Pizza conducted a social experience using 28 real people and measured the effect of oven-fresh and delivery/carryout pizza on gatherings. Six separate parties were set up with more than 20 high-resolution cameras to capture footage of participants throughout the event. Footage was then processed using custom code that employed facial recognition and emotion-tracking software, to map the partygoers’ expressions and their emotions.

Patterns were identified based on the levels of JOY displayed by partygoers in response to stimulus. Video was broken down to images at one-second intervals in order to process through facial analysis software. Emotions (Joy, Sorrow, Anger, Fear, Surprise) were calculated with Google’s Vision API on a scale of 0-4. All measurements of JOY, were calculated as an average of the change in emotion experienced before and after specific pizza-related moments across all six parties, which was used as the baseline for testing.

Nestlé USA

Named among “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for twenty consecutive years, Nestlé USA is committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. By providing choices, from nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House,® Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverages that make good living possible. With 2016 sales of $9.7 billion, Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company — with 2016 sales of $91 billion. For product news and information, visit or

Media Contacts:

Robyn Wolfish
[email protected]

Sarah Factor, Nestlé USA
[email protected]


*Nestle USA/Maru Matchbox, Pizza Accompaniments Quantitative Study, n = 727 COD Purchasers, August 2017
**Crimson Hexagon, based on search query “pizza AND delivery” for public social media posts Jan – Oct. 2017