Why is the pizza round but comes in a square box?

why pizza comes in square boxes

Most of us are familiar with the different pizza flavors, the variety of toppings available, and the different kinds of bases and crusts. Still, have you ever wondered why this round delicacy comes in a square box? This question has racked our brains repeatedly, so here we will answer the reason behind it.

Most pizzas are round because of the stretching of the dough and the shape allows the crust to cook evenly all over. Square boxes are used to store pizza because it is very cheap to make and easy to transport. It is the most cost-effective and easy to store method. 

There are many reasons why your favourite pizzas come in square boxes. Here we have discussed a few compelling reasons and facts and how this tradition of packing round-shaped pizzas in square boxes has come into use.

Cost-efficiency

The cost to retool the machines for making the boxes would be cost-prohibitive for pizza restaurants. It is all about overhead costing and keeping the costs down as much as possible. There is no need to have an expensive box for carrying a pizza! If we think of it only, right angles make shipping of the pizza easier.

Keeps the round pizza safe

A square box will mean that the edges would let the materials drip from the sides and keep things in place. Opting for a fair package for a round pizza is a lucrative idea as it helps to transfer the pizza to its destination in one piece. The introduction of pizza initially is inspired by Italy. Its first version came in a square shape. So, the boxes may have something to do with that as well.

Ease of manufacturing

Square boxes are easier and cheaper for manufacturing. A square box comes from a single sheet of cardboard. Therefore, it is helpful for the pizza boxes to start as nothing more than flat sheets of cardboard to be easy for storage. In addition, square boxes are much easier and cheaper to manufacture than any other shaped pizza boxes. It just needs a few cuts, and the pizza box is ready for use. 

In the case of the circular boxes, more than one sheet of cardboard and special machinery is the prerequisite. In addition, a lot of work goes into making these boxes as the edges are round. Two separate lids will also be necessary if the container is entirely round. Thousands of people order pizzas every minute around the world! So accordingly, whenever required, the boxes are made from sheets by folding them into boxes in the shop. The square nature of the packages also makes them easier to store since they are more stable than round boxes.

Ease of transporting and storage

Making a round box requires enough hard work to manufacture and construct the round box on site. Furthermore, logistics experts also reckon it would be more expensive to ship or transport these entirely made round boxes. In addition, pizza owners would need to redesign their storage space to accommodate round shape boxes, which would be an additional cost overhead.

Need for special machinery

It turns out that the round box must be assembled from at least four separate sections and sometimes may even need to be pressed together by special machinery. That sounds like a lot of work and resources to deliver a pizza, and then the consumer will toss the box in the recycling bin an hour later! 

Ease of devouring

Since the square box accommodates a round pizza, there will be space left in the box’s four corners. This space makes it easier for a person to lift a piece of pizza without digging their fingers into the mix of sauce and cheese and making the entire box messy! In addition, the space in the corners has the provision to keep extra items, like oregano and the all-important chili flakes.

Stability

When we think about the technical aspects of a round box, what comes to our mind is that the one or two hinges would be small and easy to break or get damaged. But on the other hand, a square box has a relatively large and stable hinge that is comparatively less susceptible to damage.

Equal portions are easier to divide in round pizzas

It is straightforward to divide round-shaped foods such as pizzas. Round-shaped pizzas are easily cut into equal portions using a pizza cutter. Square or rectangular pizzas can be difficult to separate into similar pieces. Most people love to eat the triangular slices, and in this case, it would not have been easy to do so.

Round pizzas are the traditional way

Sometimes it is better to follow and continue the old traditions. The same goes for the pizza. It originated in Napoli, Italy. An authentic Neapolitan pizza has specific rules, and one of them is the round shape of the pizza. The form also has a psychological factor as the round shape only recognizes the pizza’s look. It is iconic and looks appealing to the person having it.

Pizzas are easy to eat when the round

A survey revealed that the easiest way to eat pizzas was by cutting them into triangular slices. When there is a division into triangles, you can easily fold the pieces and eat them anywhere. But if a pizza were rectangular or square, it would not be convenient to divide them into triangular shapes as it may cause a lot of wastage and unequal distribution of the toppings. Moreover, there are some pizza outlets where pizza is sold in slices only. So, it is best to make the pizzas in a convenient round shape.

Square boxes require less storage space

For stacking and storing the square boxes, there is the requirement for less storage space. The boxes are easily flattened and transported. They have equal edges that enable them to fit neatly and support each other. In the case of circular pizza boxes, there is a need for more space, and they do not have uneven edges. It causes less stability while storing them.

Square pizza boxes are more spacious

There is enough space in the four corners of the square box. It helps to lift the slices of pizza very easily without damaging the structure of the pizza. The cheese and the toppings remain intact in their original place. Extras like the oregano dips and chili flakes can be kept in the extra space. It is not applicable in the case of round pizza boxes. It is difficult and quite inconvenient to lift the pizza in circular tubes.

Square boxes have a good grip

If we take two situations, first, you are holding a pizza in a square box and another in a circular tube. When eating it in a square box, you can easily use one hand to keep the box and another for eating. The equal edges provide an excellent grip to hold the box, and there are fewer chances of damaging the pizza. On the other hand, when it is a circular box, the grip or hold is not more robust, and there are more chances of damaging the pizza.

Square boxes have efficiency

The first and foremost reason for this strange mismatch is its efficiency. Assembling a square box is easy and quick, whereas making a round pizza box is tricky. In addition, a round box requires specialized pieces and even a machine to create, which is not efficient if the goal is to have packages prepared after the pizzas become ready.

Square boxes use one sheet of cardboard

Material can be expensive for quantities that a pizza restaurant needs. For example, it is more cost-effective to use square boxes that only require one sheet of cardboard than to use round pizza boxes that require several pieces and more material.

Advantages of having a round pizza in a square box

We conclude that the extra space at the corners keeps it from sliding around in transit. And it prevents the pizza from getting dented. It hardly makes a lot of sense. A giant round pizza in a box will slide around, whether the package is round or square. And because the pizza is in a different shape from the square box, there will never be a perfect fit. The best option is to get a pizza that is the same diameter as the length of the box. (Source)

Brand new versions of pizza boxes have come up. They come from plant materials instead of cardboard, whereas the fibers are from renewable sources like bamboo. Unlike most trees, bamboo multiplies. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, capable of growing between three and five feet every year. So the bamboo used for the pizza boxes will be replaced very quickly.

Square Pizza BoxesRound Pizza Boxes
It is easier and  cheaper to makeIt is difficult and expensive to make
It requires one piece of cardboard to makeIt requires multiple pieces of cardboard to make
It can be folded and takes less spaceIt cannot be folded and takes more space
It fits neatly when stacked as has equal edgesIt does not fit neatly as it does not have equal edges
It is easy to hold as the grip is tighterIt is difficult to hold as the grip is not so strong to hold

Can we make square-shaped pizzas for square boxes? 

square shaped pizzas

Square shaped pizzas can be packed in square boxes. There are many pizza chains in America using square boxes for square pizzas. In some cases, the thin-crust pizza is round, but it cuts into square-shaped slices.

In the majority of the cases, whether the pizza is round or square, a square-shaped pizza box is used. These square pizzas are known as party-sized pizzas. Most pizza chains make square-shaped pizzas for large gatherings as it is very convenient to serve square pizza slices. 

A pizza is a pizza, even it is square, rectangular or round-shaped. Round pizzas are standard in use mainly due to the ease of making them and marketing. But, the days of round pizzas in square boxes are coming to an end. Instead, some exciting innovations use plant-based materials to produce compostable packaging. And with the first new pizza boxes taking a circular form, perhaps that is the shape of things to come!

Do you want to make mouth-watering pizzas at home? Then read some of our exquisite recipes below. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has satiated all of your curiosity about why pizzas generally come in square boxes. So next time you wonder why your delicious round pizza is being delivered in a square box, slide your fingers into that space in the corner of the box and quickly pull out a slice of your favorite pizza!

I hope you have also got an idea why square boxes are the foremost choice for round pizzas. If you have some other interesting points, mention them in the comment section below.


Frequently asked question

Why do they cut the pizza in squares in some places?

Not all pizzas come in triangles. Some pizzas come in squares; an excellent example is the Chicago thin-crust pizza, famous in the Midwestern United States. However, the pizza usually has toppings pushed right to the edge, so there is little or no crust.

Why Is Pizza Cut Into Triangles?

Pizza is cut into triangle slices because that is the most common way to divide a circle equally. One may fold the pieces. It is prevalent in almost all the places where pizza comes in slices and is often for takeout food. But slicing it from the crust to the center makes it look like a triangle. Here every slice gets an equal portion of toppings and crust.

Hari

Hi, I am Hari, your healthy-eating coach. I can guide and help you to explore different tastes and food tips.

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