Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

You want pizza with those veges? Yes please!

Kiwi Josh Andersen holds a world pizza-eating record. Photo / Michael Craig
Kiwi Josh Andersen holds a world pizza-eating record. Photo / Michael Craig

About a fifth of young adults avoid eating their greens - but will happily wolf them down if they're smothered in cheese on a pizza, a survey has found.

The survey, by products rating company Canstar Blue, found 20 per cent of Generation Y respondents - people aged between 18 and 29 - didn't like vegetables but would eat them on a pizza.

Aucklanders were the most vege-averse; 18 per cent spurned greens unless they were on a pizza.

The world's fastest pizza eater, Kiwi Josh Andersen, who scoffed a 360g margherita pizza in 1 minute 45.37 seconds in 2008, admits he doesn't like veges, although he makes an effort to eat non pizza-related vegetables.

"But I prefer anything on pizza."

The Canstar survey found Aucklanders were most likely to defy doctors' advice on avoiding pizza (14 per cent), most likely to put salt on their pizza (10 per cent) and most likely to freeze bargain-price pizzas for later (11 per cent).

Gen Y respondents are also more likely to opt for pizza as a fast-food option (55 per cent) compared with the 43 per cent of 30-44-year-olds from Gen X and 34 per cent of Baby Boomers, aged 45 plus.

Andersen, 31, a Sydney-based Wellingtonian who is now setting up a business in Auckland, said his pizza passion began at an early age.

"I remember seeing Michael Jackson sipping Pepsi, doing the moonwalk and eating pizza on TV. It looked amazing."

Andersen said he tried to keep pizza night to once a week, and almost always opted for restaurant versions.

"I'm still single and I love the beach and I want to look good."

Canstar New Zealand general manager Derek Bonnar said the survey also found a clear division between the sexes.

"Men are twice as likely as women to stock up on pizza when it is cheap and freeze it for later, and men are far more likely to go against the advice of their doctor and eat pizza."

Of the three pizza chains included in the survey - Hell, Domino's and Pizza Hut - Hell had the highest overall satisfaction rating, Pizza Hut was deemed best value for money and Domino's was seen as having the best deals.

The survey questioned 1443 people who had bought and eaten pizza in the past three months.

Five + A Day campaign general manager Paula Dudley said getting your vegetables on pizza was better than nothing, but far from ideal.

"It's certainly not a great way to get your five plus a day given the vegetables will be covered in fat so it kind of defeats the purpose."


Pizza eating habits by region

Auckland - Most likely to choose the same pizza flavour every time (46%), most likely to stock up on takeaway pizza when it is cheap then freeze it for later (11%), most likely to not like vegetables but eat them on pizza (18%), most likely to put salt on their pizza (10%), most likely to eat pizza when their doctor says they shouldn't (14%).

Waikato - Equal least likely, with Bay of Plenty, to not pay full price for pizza and use discount vouchers or shop on promotional days (38%), least likely to stock up on takeaway pizza when it is cheap then freeze it for later (6%), least likely to put salt on pizza (4%), equal least likely with Cantabrians to choose pizza over other fast food s because it's delivered (37%).

Bay of Plenty - Most likely to find speciality crust options appealing (55%), equal least likely, with Waikato, to not pay full price for pizza and use discount vouchers or shop on promotional days (38%), least likely, with Canterbury, to eat pizza when their doctor says they shouldn't (8%), least likely to spend more on gourmet pizza (34%).

Wellington - Least likely to find the speciality crust appealing (41%), most likely to choose pizza over other fast food options because they deliver (48%), least likely to choose one of the lower calorie options when choosing pizza (11%), most likely to spend more on gourmet pizza (48%).

Canterbury - Least likely, with BOP, to eat pizza when their doctor says they shouldn't (8%), least likely, with Waikato, to choose pizza over other fast food s because it's delivered (37%).

Otago - Least likely to choose the same pizza every time (34%), most likely to not pay full price for pizza and use discount vouchers or buy on promotional days (44%), least likely to not like vegetables but eat them on pizza (7%), most likely to choose one of the lower calorie options when choosing pizza (23%).

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 22 Oct 2014 06:05:35 Processing Time: 431ms