A Wisconsin way of life has found itself spreading worldwide.
On Oct. 12, Twitter user @MikeBradleyMKE, whose real name is Michael Bradley, shared a one-minute video in which he pushes his cart through a Wisconsin grocery store's frozen pizza section — and after being viewed over 6 million times, it's reached far beyond the Badger State.
“A frozen pizza section in Wisconsin,” reads the now-viral tweet highlighting the extensive selection at a local grocery store called Woodman’s.
After capturing 14 stocked commercial glass door freezers full of only frozen pizza, the video pans to the right where two small display freezers full of more ice cold pepperoni, sauce and cheese can be seen, ready for the picking. But, of course, that’s not all.
The cart continues making a trip down an area flanked with two more aisle-long display freezers holding literally only pizza pies of the frozen variety. Bellatoria, Homerun and Roma pizza brands, amongst others, can be spotted as Bradley turns only to see more frozen pizza in his eye line, anywhere he looks. The only non-pizza products in the entire video are items like pre-packaged Parmesan cheeses and other slice-friendly accoutrements sitting on shelves above the freezers.
Reaction to what we're calling The Great Midwestern Pizza Concentration of 2022 ranges from starry-eyed bewilderment to delight, with local Wisconsinites and Cheeseheads letting it be known that this is completely normal behavior in America's Dairyland.
“This is like one of my mom’s texts,” tweeted one person in response to the video.
“I’m not going to lie, when I moved to Nevada, I was seriously upset that there were only six brands of frozen pizza and not even all the varieties of those flavors,” said another Twitter user. “If you want to freak out a Wisconsinite, tell them there’s only three options of Tombstone.”
“Fun Fact: the frozen pizza was invented in Wisconsin and Wisconsinites consume the most frozen pizza per capita,” tweeted another person.
They’re half right about that — while Wisconsinites do consume the most frozen pizza per capita in the country, the move that pizza took from the brick oven into the grocery store freezer happened gradually over time in several states around the country starting around 1950, including in New York, Massachusetts and the Midwest.
Still, there’s no denying now that Wisconsin is the undisputed champion of frozen pizza — just look at the material. Wisconsin — while mainly hailed for its cheese culture — is also home to several frozen pizza brands like DiGiorono, Palermo, Roma, Tombstone and many more.
“That isn’t a typical grocery store in WI. That is Woodman’s—which is the absolute heaven on Earth of grocery stores,” said another Twitter user. “Double the size and selection of any normal store. The awesome pizza selection is an incidental by-product of that.”
Another user took a video of the grocery store's cheese selection, which is similarly expansive in size.
“I took a video of the Kenosha Woodman’s cheese section,” tweeted someone else. “It just. Keeps. GOING.”
“If every fridge door had 200 pizzas behind it, there would have been 2800 pizzas just in the row of fridges. Maybe double that for the whole section? Amazing,” replied another person, guesstimating the amount of pizzas that the freezers hold.
But was that Twitter user right? We had to find out.
We reached out to Woodman’s, who confirmed the video was taken in one of the chain’s locations. We asked how much pizza Woodman’s actually sells, and as you can see, it’s clearly a lot. But as Clint Woodman, president of Woodman’s Markets, told us himself, that pizza plethora is not the only smorgasbord of scrumptiousness the chain sells.
“We carry over 100,000 items in our stores,” Woodman told TODAY Food. “Price and variety is our niche.”
Woodman said he was completely unaware his pizza section had gone viral on the internet but was appreciative of the positive attention. Still, just like the commenters from the Wisconsin area, it was clear that being used to such a broad selection is a just part of Woodman’s appeal.
“People in Wisconsin love frozen pizzas, I guess,” said Woodman. “We’re known for our huge variety of items and frozen pizza is one of the sections where there’s just so many different suppliers and we offer everything that anyone would want.”
Woodman said that in just the pizza section alone, they stock 650 separate pizza facings (essentially the rows or columns of items you see in a grocery aisle) and 50 different brands, taking up a total area of 600 square feet in the store.
Is this making you want pizza? Well, get out there and cheese the day!