Pizza My Heart: Healthy Conversations, Delicious Dishes
An estimated 3 billion pizzas are sold in the United States every year. It’s safe to say that pizza is at the “heart” of American cuisine. And as Chef Jon Ashton often says, “Pizza without cheese is like a magician without a wand.” Americans love pizza and cheese – but pizza often gets categorized as “less than healthy.”
Over the last couple of years, the Dairy MAX Health and Wellness Team has partnered with Chef Jon Ashton to host a series of Pizza My Heart events. The goal of Pizza My Heart is to create a fun and interactive sampling experience for our key health and wellness audiences while providing a conversational environment to discuss common misconceptions about pizza and highlight the importance of cooking with dairy for its nutritional contributions. Chef Jon has a passion for dairy foods and dairy farmers and is on a mission to make good food more accessible. Originally from Liverpool, England, he has appeared frequently on the “Today” show and “The Tonight Show,” is contributing editor of Parade and Dash magazines, and is the food correspondent for “The Daily Buzz.”
The four events took place in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City and New Orleans with 280 attendees in total. Guests included key health and wellness thought leaders, registered dietitians, physicians, and folks from academia, as well as food bloggers and social influencers. The events included a demo from Chef Jon as well as a short presentation from a local health professional who conveyed the message that pizza is a wonderful delivery vehicle for important food groups, including dairy, in a package everyone loves. The events also included remarks from local dairy farmers in order to make the farm to table connection and drive home that farmers produce wholesome and nutritious dairy foods.
Guests were encouraged to share their learnings, dairy-centric messages and pizza photos on social media throughout the evenings’ events. In total, the four events garnered over 550 social media posts using the hashtag #DairyAmazing, with an absolute reach of over 4 million impressions.