The anticipation of pizza makes us happier than actually eating pizza
This article originally appeared in Food & Wine by Adam Campbell-Schmitt.
Of course pizza makes us happy. Everyone knows that. But just when and how pizza makes us happy is a whole other issue. The folks at DiGiorno (the “it’s not delivery” people) have delivered some data that might surprise even the most ardent pizza lover. It turns out that the promise of pizza may be even more satisfying than the pie itself.
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The bake-at-home frozen pizza brand conducted an experiment over the course of three pizza parties in order “to better understand the power of pizza.” Guests were invited into a loft outfitted with dozens of hidden cameras and given a bunch of pizzas to bake up. Every five seconds, their faces were recorded and processed through facial recognition software with the ability to track and catalog emotional cues. Over the course of each of the parties, some rather interesting patterns because to develop.
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Sure, when people were eating pizza, they were happier than when they weren’t. Because pizza is amazing. But going back a bit further in the process, there were also spikes of joy at other key moments, like when the pizza was put into the oven, when the smell of pizza filled the room, when it came out of the oven and when the pizza was finally cut before serving.
What’s most shocking is that the consumption of the pizza was a high point, it wasn’t the highest. The largest measured increase of “joy” among the participants was while the pizza was baking. To quantify this more concretely, when compared to the beginning of the party, instances of joy were 11 percent higher while eating pizza, but a whopping 24 percent higher when it was baking.
According to DiGiorno this proves that pizza is as much about an experience as it is about the actual food. Basically, baking a pizza will make you happier than immediate gratification. That’s a keen point to make when you’re in the business of getting people to cook pizzas up at home. Then again, watching the Pizza Tracker give you play-by-play is pretty thrilling, too.