Tap into the Topping That Makes Pizza a Slice Above the Rest.

Published: May 9, 2023

There’s no mistaking it. People are passionate about pepperoni pizza. And, with all the pizza popularity, there’s never been a better time to enhance your menu with unique toppings. So, we’re going to let you in on a little secret, one that can help you create pizza that’s a big slice above the rest. It’s cupping pepperoni, and it could be a new favorite on your menu.

Discover the Delicious Difference of Cupping Pepperoni

There are lots of different kinds of pepperoni you can add to pizza, but most of them are flat to your pie. The difference with cupping pepperoni is that it curls up into a small bowl shape when it’s baked. The pepperoni’s round edges become super crisp and crunchy, while the bottom and center of the pepperoni remain divinely chewy. The best part, though, is when that flavorful little cup of goodness hits the palate. The culinary experience of pepperoni pizza becomes transformed through a taste and texture that’s intensely craveable. See for yourself. 

"It’s generating a lot of national buzz and interest."

Kylee Francis
Tyson Foods

Get in on Pizza’s Best Kept Secret 

You may be wondering why not everyone is menuing and ordering cupped pepperoni. Until now, cupping pepperoni has primarily been a regional trend in the upper Midwest and Northeast, so it’s possible that the only reason it isn’t everyone’s favorite pizza topping is because consumers may not even know about it yet! The lucky ones who do are huge fans because it’s a delicious, artisanal and culinary-forward pizza topping. 

You can be among a distinct group of pizza purveyors and artisanal aficionados to now reveal pizza’s best kept secret and keep customers coming back for more. With our new Hillshire Farm® Cupping Pepperoni, it’s easy.

"Cupping Pepperoni was a high priority initiative within pizza toppings this year,” says Kylee Francis, Manager, Innovation at Tyson Foods. “It’s traditionally a more regional item in the upper Midwest and Northeast, but it’s generating a lot of national buzz and interest, so it only made sense that we add it to our great portfolio of products. It gives operators that are not in those areas the opportunity to bring a new topping to consumers that is really new to them."

"­We already know that our proprietary seasoning blend performs extremely well with consumers today so we’re able to use that same flavor profile but in this new unique format."

Kylee Francis
Tyson Foods

1 in 4 

consumers are interested in trying pizza with unique ingredients.2

Top Your Toppings and Create the Crave

It’s no surprise that pepperoni is the #1 pizza topping1, and with one-in-four consumers interested in trying pizza with unique ingredients2, there's never been a better time to add our tasty, new Hillshire Farm® Cupping Pepperoni to your ingredient lineup. For chefs and restauranters, pepperoni cups offer an easy way to elevate your menu and give customers a unique and craveable eating experience.

"What makes cupping pepperoni so great is that it really allows for safe experimentation on pizza and reduces the homogenous pizza eating experience in terms of texture,” says Francis. “It adds a new look and creates a crunchy, crispy texture experience. And then of course, it has that really lovely pepperoni flavor from Hillshire Farm brand."

Make Pepperoni Pizza
with More Pizzazz

Talk to consumers about pizza, and they’re passionate. Talk to them about pepperoni, and they can also be a little picky. That’s why Hillshire Farm® Cupping Pepperoni is a smart choice to spice up your slice. Now you can serve up the robust flavor you expect from a beloved, trusted brand. Expertly crafted with delicious beef, pork and Italian-inspired ingredients, it brings an artisanal flair and an undeniable texture that’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Plus, it’s deep red hue and perfect glistening cups can add visual appeal to menu items. Simply put, it adds the wow factor your customers are looking for.

“The Hillshire Farm brand has a known and loved flavor using our proprietary seasoning blend,” says Francis. “We already know that it performs extremely well with consumers today, so we’re able to use that same flavor profile but in this new unique format.”

Discover the Science Behind the Slice 

Our cupping method is not magic, it’s science. After expertly crafting our beef and pork pepperoni, we put our meat into an edible collagen casing. This is the key to perfectly cupped pepperoni. The meat creates an internal u-shape, which cooks in the very same shape once heat is applied to each slice of pepperoni. Voila! Our little cups of flavorful, savory goodness are ready for your pizza menu. 

“Cupping pepperoni is stuffed into an edible collagen casing that is left on the product through slicing,” says Francis. “So, when you put the cupping pepperoni on pizza and it’s cooked in an oven, that collagen casing begins to shrink, therefore pulling the pepperoni up with it and forming the cup shape that really adds the super delicious, extra crispy eating experience. Consumers do love that indulgent eating experience.”

"We’re going to have a consistent, high-quality product that lives up to what our brand promise is for operators.are facing significant challenges with food costs.5"

Kylee Francis
Tyson Foods

Wow Patrons with the Perfect Pepperoni Product

As part of our advanced research and development process, our Hillshire Farm® Cupping Pepperoni went through rigorous testing to ensure top performance, as well as meeting our high Tyson Foods standards.

“In order to fulfill our promise for performance that the Hillshire Farm® brand stands behind, there was really rigorous testing at the plant production level,” says Francis. “We were bringing in industry experts every step of the way. This was a new process for our facility, so we were focused on really making sure we’re going to have a consistent, high-quality product that lives up to what our brand promise is for operators.”

Enjoy All the Appeal With No Added Work 

Sixty-two percent of operators say their restaurant currently doesn’t have enough employees to support its existing customer demand3. These continuing labor and talent shortages can hinder the ability to deliver high-quality food. 

The great thing about Hillshire Farm® Cupping Pepperoni is that it’s an easy add to your ingredient lineup and delivers a consistent and unique eating experience every time. Slices don’t stick together, so they’re simple to add to pizza, sandwiches, flatbreads and more—plus they cup up in any oven, which means there’s no extra training or work for your operation. And talk about taste and visual appeal. Customers will love these perfect little pepperoni cups glistening with a flavorful sip of pepperoni grease, while the edges are crispy and crunchy like yummy bacon.

“If operators ar going for regionality, it definitely lends itself to that Detroit-style pizza,” says Francis. “If they’re wanting to go the more artisanal route, it lends itself to a thinner crust, woodfire-type pizza with some veggies, maybe some sausage crumbles. It lets the operator get creative.”

Cupping pepperoni has experienced growth in menu penetration, topping +80% over the last

12 months1.

Get a Slice of the Action

Cupping pepperoni has experienced incredible growth in menu penetration, topping +80% over the last 12 months, and +440% over the past four years1. “Cupping pepperoni is showing exponential growth,” says Francis. “It’s the new trend that’s driving a lot of buzz with pizza lovers, so we need to be sure we offer that for our operators,” says Francis. Any way you slice it, there’s a huge opportunity to get in on the action.

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Artisanal Meaty Trio Pizza 

Go artisanal for added appeal: Artisanal is a pizza mega trend for 20234 and Meat Lovers Pizza remains the leading specialty pizza2. Keep topping these trends with our Artisanal Meaty Trio Pizza made with our best pizza proteins.

Serve up regional favorites: Nearly 60% of consumers agree they’ll pay more for higher-quality products5. Our Detroit-style Cupping Pepperoni Pizza is the perfect way to add an iconic, regional style of pizza to your menu.

Serve up regional favorites: Nearly 60% of consumers agree they’ll pay more for higher-quality products5. Our Detroit-style Cupping Pepperoni Pizza is the perfect way to add an iconic, regional style of pizza to your menu.

Join the Cupping Pepperoni Pizza Party

"We’re really looking to bring artisan toppings with premium appeal to operators, and a big part of that is innovating in a way that can bring new core toppings to menus,” says Francis. “That crispy texture whenever you bite into our cupping pepperoni is pretty unforgettable."


1 Datassential, MenuTrends, Q4-22

2 Technomic, Pizza Consumer Trend Report, 2022

3 National Restaurant Association (NRA), Restaurant Business Conditions Survey, December 2022

4 Datassential Keynote Report, Pizza, 2023

5 IFT, Outlook 2023: Consumer Trends, 12/1/22