Is there such a thing as a healthy frozen pizza? What is the healthiest store-bought pizza? Is Banza pizza the best healthy frozen pizza brand? We set off to find out.
DiGiorno came onto the pizza scene in 1995 revolutionizing the way consumers ate pizza. Mimicking the quality of delivery, DiGiorno was the first of its kind that could be picked up in the frozen aisle of your neighborhood grocery store that tasted just like delivery. With a unique formulation, DiGiorno pizza crust rises while it bakes, giving it the taste and feel of your favorite pizza.
DiGiorno frozen pizza hadn’t seen much competition until late 2020. With the COVID pandemic leaving consumers to crave traditional comfort foods, the team at Banza attempted to make an alternative pizza you could eat every single night. Made from chickpeas, the Banza pizza is one of the first frozen pizza substitutes on the market that actually tastes like pizza. It mimics the quality of real, wheat-based crust, and dare we say, you might not even be able to tell it’s made from chickpeas. Banza promises that their pizza is so good, you can eat it every night. (In fact, it’s written directly on the box: Pizza Every Night!).
Price Winner: DiGiorno
Coming in just under $6 per pizza, DiGiorno compares with pizza delivery giant, Dominoes. Normalized on a per-gram basis, DiGiorno is significantly less than Banza, coming in at $4.76 compared to $8 for Banza.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free pizza alternative that tastes great, Banza is a great option. But if you want a healthy pizza that you can eat every night, is Banza worth the price?
While Banza is marginally better — it has slightly more fiber and less sugar — the nutritional content is essentially the same. There isn’t a significant difference in the calorie count when you compare Banza to DiGiorno.
Interestingly, Banza is considered a good low-carb pizza option by brand loyalists.
Banza may not be the healthiest frozen pizza option, but it does have a much cleaner label than its competitors. The ingredient list for Banza includes far fewer additives than DiGiorno. One thing we noticed with DiGiorno is that the four-cheese pizza isn’t actually a four-cheese pizza: three out of four cheeses were relegated to the 2 percent or less line on the ingredient list. There wasn’t as much variety in the cheese composition as we had hoped.
Banza’s pizza has less sugar. Banza reduced the sugar content of their pizza by using date powder in the crust. While this allows Banza to claim a cleaner label, using date powder in the crust likely reduces any antioxidant properties the date powder could have provided to the pizza because of heat. That said, date powder has more fructose and therefore is lower on the glycemic index compared to sugar.
So is Banza good for you? Chickpeas are generally a better carbohydrate option than wheat and are packed with protein and fiber. But with marginally better macronutrients than DiGiorno, Banza isn’t necessarily a healthier pizza option.
When it comes to developing a perfect gluten-free pizza for those with dietary restrictions, however, the team at Banza did a phenomenal job replicating the taste, texture, and quality of the pizza we all know and love.