How Frozen Pizza Started Its Journey in the USA

How Frozen Pizza Started Its Journey in the USA

How did a dish that was once considered foreign become one of America’s favorite foods? It all started with a simple immigrant story.

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Origins of Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza was created in the United States in the 1950s. At that time, pizza was a popular dish in Italian restaurants. However, these restaurants were only found in large cities. The first frozen pizza was created by a man named Totino.

Pre-World War II

Pizza as we know it today originated in southern Italy in the late 1800s, but it took a few decades for this dish to make its way to America. In 1905, the first pizzeria in the United States opened its doors in New York City, and by the 1930s, pizza was becoming increasingly popular with Italian immigrants.

However, it wasn’t until after World War II that frozen pizza really began to take off. In 1945, a gentleman by the name of Phillip Levine was working in a pizzeria in Detroit when he had the ingenious idea to start selling packaged pizza dough. His company, Gino’s Pizza Products, eventually began selling frozen pizzas as well, and by 1962, they were shipping their pies all across the country.

Other companies soon followed suit, and by the 1970s, frozen pizza was a staple in grocery stores nationwide. Today, it’s one of America’s favorite comfort foods, and there are countless varieties to choose from. Whether you prefer thin crust or deep dish, there’s a Frozen Pizza out there for everyone!

Post-World War II

After World War II, there was an increase in the number of working mothers and an increase in the number of single-person households. This meant that there was a need for quick and easy meals that could be made with minimal effort. Enter the frozen pizza

Frozen pizza was first introduced in the United States in 1957 by Celentano Brothers, a company based in New Haven, Connecticut. Their pizzas were made with a pre-made dough and a sauce that was sourced from Italy. The pizzas were then frozen and sold to grocery stores.

The idea for frozen pizza is often credited to Frank Lombardi, who is said to have come up with the idea while working at a pizzeria in Connecticut. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.

The first frozen pizza available to consumers was Greensboro, North Carolina-based Pizza Treat’s “Pizza-In-A-Bag” which launched in 1962. The company placed advertisements in newspapers across the country, claiming that their pizza could be cooked in just six minutes.

Frozen pizza began to gain popularity in the 1970s as more and more grocery stores began to stock them. In 1974, Totino’s – now a subsidiary of General Mills – became the first national brand of frozen pizza with their “Red Roof” line of pizzas.

Today, there are many different brands and varieties of frozen pizza available on the market. Whether you like your pizza thin and crispy or thick and chewy, there’s sure to be a frozen pizza out there that will suit your taste buds!

The First Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza made its first appearance in the United States in 1962. It was created by a man named Rose Totino and her husband, Jim. The Totinos were restaurant owners in Minnesota. They decided to start selling pizza in their restaurant, but they had trouble keeping up with the demand.

Celentano Brothers

The Celentano Brothers rose to fame in the early 1960’s with their frozen pizza product. The Celentano’s originally started out as a pasta company, Rossi Pasta Company. In 1957, the company was sold and the Celentano brothers went on to create a new company, eventually opening a frozen food division in 1962.

The first frozen pizza that the Celentano brothers created was called “Pizza Prom”. The pizza was an instant success and soon after, the Celentanos were approached by several large grocery store chains who wanted to sell their pizza in their stores.

In 1963, the Celentanos created a new company, AIA (American Italian Foods) specifically for their frozen pizza business. AIA built a new factory in New Jersey which was specifically designed for mass production of their frozen pizzas.

AIA’s success continued into the 1970’s and 1980’s and by 1984, they were selling over 100 million pizzas per year. In 1985, AIA was sold to Borden Foods and then in 1995, it was bought by J&J Snack Foods. J&J continues to produce Celentano branded frozen pizzas today.

Totino’s Party Pizza

In the early 1950s, Rose and Jim Totino left their jobs as bakers for a large Minneapolis grocery store chain to start their own business. They borrowed $600 from relatives and rented a tiny 220-square-foot storefront bakery. Their goal was simple: to make and sell pizzas for 25 cents each.

With no money to buy advertising, the Totinos relied on special events and word-of-mouth to build their business. They gave away free pizza samples at high school basketball games and hosted pizza parties for local organizations. Within a few years, their pizzas were so popular that they had to move to a larger location.

In 1962, the Totinos made a major change to their business: they began selling their pizzas frozen. This was a new concept at the time, and it allowed them to sell their pizzas in grocery stores across the country. The Totinos’ frozen pizza became an instant success, and it is credited with popularizing frozen pizza in the United States.

Today, Totino’s is one of the most popular brands of frozen pizza in the country. Every year, Americans buy more than $500 million worth of Totino’s Party Pizzas—that’s enough to give every man, woman, and child in the United States two pizzas!

The Rise of Frozen Pizza

It all started in the year 1905 when a man named Eugene HAlbert created the first frozen pizza. It was made with a dough that was partially cooked and then frozen. In the year 1930, the first pizzeria in the United States opened and it was called Gino’s. They started selling frozen pizzas and they were a hit!


In the 1970s, few American families had ever heard of frozen pizza. It was an exotic Italian dish that was seldom seen outside of Italian immigrant communities. But that began to change in the late 1970s, when a number of factors came together to bring frozen pizza into the mainstream American diet.

The first was the rise of the “supermarket pizza,” a ready-made pizza that could be purchased at your local grocery store. These pizzas were mass-produced in factories and then shipped to supermarkets across the country. They were not especially good, but they were convenient and inexpensive, and they allowed Americans to get a taste of pizza without having to go to an Italian restaurant.

The second factor was the rise of the “fast food pizza” chain. In 1971, a company called Domino’s Pizza opened its first store in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Domino’s delivered its pizzas within 30 minutes or less, and it quickly became popular with college students and working families who wanted a quick, hot meal but didn’t want to cook. Other pizza chains soon followed suit, and by the end of the decade, there were nearly 5,000 pizza restaurants in operation across the United States.

Finally, in 1979, a company called Totino’s Pizza Rolls introduced a new product that would make frozen pizza even more convenient: pre-made pizzas that could be cooked in a conventional oven in just minutes. Totino’s Pizza Rolls were an instant hit, and within a few years they were being sold in every supermarket in America.

The combination of these factors led to a dramatic increase in the popularity of frozen pizza in the United States. By the early 1980s, frozen pizza was one of America’s favorite convenience foods, and it has remained popular ever since.


In the early 1980s, two important things happened that would change the pizza industry forever: the first was the launch of DiGiorno frozen pizza, and the second was the opening of Pizza Hut’s first delivery-only store. DiGiorno’s launch was particularly significant because it was the first time a frozen pizza had been sold in supermarkets. Prior to this, frozen pizzas were only available from pizzerias or specialty stores. But now, anyone who wanted a pizza could pick one up from their local grocery store.

Pizza Hut’s delivery-only store was also groundbreaking. Up until this point, if you wanted a pizza delivered to your home, you had to order it from a pizzeria that also offered dine-in service. Pizza Hut’s new store was designed specifically for delivery, and it made ordering pizza much more convenient for consumers.


In the early 1990s, pizza consumption in the United States was on the decline. Meals prepared at home were becoming more popular, and pizza just wasn’t seen as an easy or convenient option. That all changed with the rise of frozen pizza.

Frozen pizza started making inroads in the early 1990s and by 1996, it was the most popular frozen food in the country. Thanks to advances in freezing and packaging technology, frozen pizza became a viable option for busy families who wanted a quick and easy meal. And thanks to the wide variety of toppings and crusts available, there was a frozen pizza to suit everyone’s taste.

Today, frozen pizza is more popular than ever. New brands and varieties are constantly hitting store shelves, and even high-end restaurants are getting in on the action with their own lines of gourmet frozen pizzas. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a festive party food, there’s a frozen pizza out there that’s perfect for you.

Frozen Pizza Today

Frozen pizza first made its appearance in the United States in the 1950s. It was created as a solution for the problem of how to keep pizza fresh during long journeys. The first frozen pizzas were made by a company called Celentano’s, and they were sold in supermarkets.

Top Brands

Frozen pizza has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the United States. Once a niche product, it is now one of the most popular convenience foods in the country. In fact, Americans consume about 350 slices of frozen pizza every second!

But how did frozen pizza become so popular? Let’s take a look at the history of this American favorite.

Frozen pizza was first introduced to the US market in the 1950s by John and Margaret Goodfellow, who founded the Celentano Brothers food company. Their goal was to create a convenient, ready-to-eat meal that could be enjoyed by busy families.

To achieve this, they enlisted the help of Dr. Edward Giovanelli, a food scientist who had developed a process for freezing and packaging cooked pasta. Using this same process, Celentano Brothers was able to mass-produce frozen pizza for the first time.

The company’s first product was a cheese pizza made with just four ingredients: mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, flour, and salt. It quickly became a hit with American families, who appreciated having a quick and easy meal that they could enjoy without having to go through the hassle of making pizzas from scratch.

Today, there are dozens of different brands and varieties of frozen pizza available on store shelves across the country. Whether you’re looking for a classic cheese or pepperoni pie, or something more adventurous like a chicken Alfredo or BBQ chicken pizza, there’s sure to be a frozen pie that will satisfy your craving.

New Products

Frozen pizza made its commercial debut in the United States in 1962 with Celentano Brothers’ frozen pizza product. Celentano Brothers was a large grocery store chain located in the Northeast.

Founded by Italian immigrants, the Celentano brothers started out as a fresh pasta business. They eventually expanded their business to include other Italian foods such as olives, peppers, and breadsticks. The introduction of their frozen pizza product was a natural progression for the company.

The brothers hired a young man named Michael Adriano to help them develop the frozen pizza recipe. Adriano had recently emigrated from Italy and was familiar with the popular pizzerias in his home country. Using this knowledge, he was able to develop a pizza that would be appealing to American consumers.

The Celentano brothers’ frozen pizza quickly became a success. It was one of the first frozen pizzas on the market and it had a unique taste that set it apart from other brands. The company’s success led to other businesses taking notice of the potential for frozen pizza products.

In 1986, Pizza Hut became the first major restaurant chain to offer a frozen pizza product. The introduction of Pizza Hut’s Hot-n-Ready line of pizzas made frozen pizzas more convenient than ever before. Consumers no longer had to wait for delivery or even preheat their ovens; they could simply pop a Hot-n-Ready pizza into the oven and have a hot, fresh pizza in minutes.

Today, there are many different brands and varieties of frozen pizza available on the market. Thanks to companies like Celentano Brothers and Pizza Hut, frozen pizza has become an American staple.