Does DiGiorno’s really stack up to delivery? I ate similar pizzas from Domino’s, Papa John’s, and the DiGiorno’s frozen pizza fridge at Fred Meyer to find out

Pizza seems like one of the pandemic's most endemic foods.

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Pizza seems like one of the pandemic’s most endemic foods.
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Irene Jiang/Business Insider
  • DiGiorno’s pizza advertisements claim the frozen pizza is better than delivery.
  • It’s a truth I’ve always wanted to chase down, but one I’ve never had the room in my stomach to – until now.
  • I pitted small supreme pizzas from Domino’s, Papa John’s, and DiGiorno’s to see if DiGiorno’s is really better than delivery.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Every 90’s kid knows what DiGiorno’s is.

It’s the frozen pizza brand that claims to be better than delivery pizza. It’s not delivery, “it’s DiGiorno.”

I’ve always wondered just how much water that claim holds. But testing out that claim requires ordering a bunch of pizza and pitting it against DiGiorno’s. Before the pandemic, I had no desire to do such a thing. Now, pizza seems like one of the pandemic’s most endemic foods.

While the rest of the restaurant industry suffers plunging losses, pizza chains can’t hire fast enough to keep up with skyrocketing sales. And according to a Nielsen report for the week ending on April 11, frozen pizza sales were up by 51.3% compared to last year, and up 84% for the four-week period ending on April 11.

No wonder I had so much trouble finding a DiGiorno’s frozen pizza. But after a long and arduous quest for DiGiorno’s original supreme rising crust pizza spanning a month of futile online grocery orders and trips to the store, I finally got my pie.

To round out the roundup, I also ordered a small “deluxe” pizza from Domino’s and a small “the works” pizza from Papa John’s (not all on the same day, I don’t want to send myself to the ER during a pandemic). Here’s how DiGiorno’s really compares to delivery.


Domino’s small hand-tossed deluxe pizza cost $8 when I ordered it from a Brooklyn, New York, location, not including delivery and tip. I used a promotion — usually, it’s more.

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This pizza normally costs $17 in Brooklyn, New York, and $13 in Seattle, Washington.


It’s topped with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.

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From the get-go, the toppings didn’t look the freshest. What I thought was a stray piece of lettuce turned out to be just a very old onion bit.

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The crust was thick and soft and emitted a distinctly pungent garlic odor.

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My co-taste-tester and roommate Shankhri attempted to fold her slice in half like a real New York slice. No dice. It was too thick.

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The crust was fluffy and the onion old, as expected. None of the toppings were particularly flavorful or interesting, except the nicely browned sausage.

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Shankhri noted that the crust had a cardboard-like aftertaste.

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We tried dipping our pizza in the garlic sauce that was provided.

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But even the garlic sauce was disappointing.

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The best part of a Domino’s pizza? The bit of garlic-dusted crust at its edge.

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Combine that with the garlic sauce and it’s … slightly better.

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Afterward, my body felt really gross. I felt slightly nauseous. Was it food I’d just put into my stomach, or something else entirely?

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A week later, in late March, after I’d chosen to weather the pandemic in Seattle, I ordered the same meal from the world’ most pizza-loving papa, Papa John’s.

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Papa John’s founder John Schnatter once promised to eat 50 pizzas in 30 days, then later said that he promised nothing of the sort.


Papa John’s “the works” pizza cost $17.50, not including delivery fee and tip.

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This pizza normally costs $12 in Brooklyn, New York, and $17.50 in Seattle, Washington.


It’s topped with original sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon.

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It also comes with a nifty lil’ banana pepper.

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Papa John’s pizza tends towards the sweet, both in crust and sauce. Its crust stands out for its lovely chewy, bready texture. It’s no New York thin crust, but it’s also not soggy or dense.

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Right off the bat, the toppings on this pizza looked fresher than Domino’s.

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The green peppers didn’t have the same world-weary quality that Domino’s green peppers had. They were fresh. Everything was fresh.

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Eating Domino’s had felt like I was putting a proxy for food into my body. Eating Papa John’s felt like I was eating real food.

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It was a bit too salty with garlic sauce, but hey, it was tasty without it just the same

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Since the pricing varies by location, I can’t judge Papa John’s or Domino’s based on affordability.

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But as far as taste goes, Papa John’s definitely has Domino’s beat.

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After that, it took me nearly a month to find a DiGiorno’s original rising crust supreme pizza. At $5, it was the cheapest of them all.

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No, really. It was that hard to find.


Those who know me well know just how much it meant to me to hold this box in my hands finally.

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I preheated the oven and removed the peculiar pizza puck from its packaging.

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The puck was topped with frozen sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, green and red peppers, onions, and olives. The toppings looked almost too colorful to be food.

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In went the pizza at 400 degrees. I’d burned my entire right hand a few days prior, so I resented having to put the pizza directly on the rack.

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Poof! 22-25 minutes later, the pizza had puffed into this fluffy disk.

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After some very careful, nerve-wracking finagling with an oven mitt and a plate, I finally had my DiGiorno’s.

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The first thing I noticed, aside from the too-bright-to-be-real colors, was a mysterious puddle atop my pizza.

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Another inconvenience of the home-bake pizza: what if you don’t have a pizza cutter? I used a meat knife.

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I carefully extracted my thick (read: THICC!!!) slice from the runny puddle quickly forming in the center of my plate.

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Why in the name of dough is the crust so darn thick? It’s like someone looked at a pizza and said, “hmm, this would be better if it was mostly the bread part.” That person shouldn’t be allowed near pizza.

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And would I mistake this for delivery? No. It’s much too soggy, thick, and un-pizza-like.

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The cheese is rubbery, and the toppings are more eye food than mouth food.

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But I couldn’t deny that it was actually pretty satisfying. I knew it was a bad pizza, but I kept eating it. Why? Such is the nature of pizza.

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A professor of mine compared certain TV shows to pizza. A “pizza show” is a show that never gets amazing, but is usually pretty good. Even at its worst, it’s still reasonably tasty.

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DiGiorno’s proves that concept. Even though you might never mistake a DiGiorno’s pizza for a delivery pizza, you might choose it over a delivery pizza, especially if your wallet is your prime consideration.

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Irene Jiang/Business Insider