Sainsbury’s is to trial a pizza pre-ordering service at three of its stores, in a move which sees the retailer go head to head with the likes of Domino’s.

In what it claims is a UK first, customers phone their order for a 10- or 14-inch pizza through to either Sainsbury’s in Redhill, Cambridge Eddington or Bradford and pick it up 30 minutes later or at a specified time. They can choose between deep pan or stone-baked thin & crispy bases with a range of toppings, including pepperoni, fresh peppers, roasted mushrooms and spicy beef.

Payment is accepted at the pizza counter upon collection and shoppers can buy up to five associated items to complete the meal, such as potato wedges, salad and drinks.

“By giving our customers the chance to pre-order personalised hot pizzas and pay at the counter, we are saving them time and giving them a great value takeaway experience. As the UK’s first supermarket to test this service, this is an exciting trial for us to listen and understand how our customers respond,” said Nicola Goodall, strategy executive at Sainsbury’s.

The trial, which will last for 12 weeks, is already live in Redhill and Eddington and due to go live in Bradford next week. A review is set for after Christmas. The move sees the supermarket compete with pizza specialists such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s.

These chains, however, do offer pizza delivery – something Sainsbury’s does not. And, according to the new research from The NPD Group, delivery services are expected to expand rapidly with spend set to increase 17% to £656m by 2019.

NPD also predicted that more foodservice operators would adopt delivery as a route to market, thanks to the prevalence of JustEat, UberEATS and Deliveroo.

“Delivery shows no signs of running out of steam over the next two years and will help to bring home the bacon in Britain’s £55bn foodservice industry,” said Cyril Lavenant, foodservice director UK at the NPD Group. “Burgers, casual dining, breakfast and lunch are also thriving and should help operators shrug off fragile consumer confidence, as well as inflation and stagnant wages, to achieve growth.”

For more information on the opportunity in pizza, subscribers to British Baker magazine can read our latest report