The 10 Best Pepperoni Brands, Ranked

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Though you might think pepperoni has been around forever, the first recorded mention of the meat product happened around 1919 in New York City.In the century since, it's become a beloved pizza topping and snack food. Whether it's slices or an uncured stick, pepperoni is a popular deli meat for good reason. It's delicious, savory, and has a very unique presentation of spices.

When it comes to choosing between deli and pre-packaged pepperoni, each option has its benefits. While deli pepperoni is highly processed, you can pick how much you buy. In turn, pre-packaged pepperoni comes in various quantities, ranging from 5 to 16 oz packages. Through our research, a package of pepperoni can range from $3.00 to $15.00, depending on the size, brand, and location. It's a dynamic topping with the versatility to fill charcuterie boards and sub sandwiches alike. No longer is pepperoni just a pizza staple. It's a versatile finger food for all. In this ranking, we examine the 10 best pepperoni brands and rank them.

10. Whole Foods/365

While Whole Foods' fresh meat section has become a go-to for professional butchers, their deli meat offerings are not as highly touted. For $5.49, 365's sliced lunch meat pepperoni is a great option for anyone who regularly shops for groceries at Whole Foods. 365 is the chain's in-house generic brand, and it makes everything from dish soap to frozen pizza. However, there's nothing generic about their pepperoni. Though it doesn't carry a well-recognized name like Hormel or Battistoni, 365's pepperoni is a delicious option fit for any homemade pizza.

If you're looking for deli-sized pepperoni, 365 isn't your best bet. It's a tiny, thinly sliced product that won't work great on a sandwich but can elevate any pizza with ease. It comes in at a middle-of-the-road price, at $5.49 a bag. Unfortunately, while the taste is delicious, you can get other pepperoni options with better flavor palettes at a cheaper cost. Many other brands on this list are also available in grocery stores nationwide, but 365 is only purchasable at Whole Foods or through Amazon, which impacts its ranking.

9. Vincenza's

Another Whole Foods brand, Vincenza's offers more than just pepperoni as it's also available in Genoa Salami, Dolce Pancetta and Uncured Soppressata. Unlike many of the brands on this list, Vincenza's is a deli brand, not a pre-packaged product. In turn, Vincenza's is one of the larger options in our ranking, with slices perfect for sandwich-making. They're thinly sliced and as delicious as any deli pepperoni, though you can only get them at Whole Foods.

Prices are by the pound and vary from location to location, so there's not a definitive number online. However, Vincenza's is one of the best deli options available. Its size makes it great for charcuterie boards and sub sandwich platters alike. And, the thinness of each slice is not too filling, making it a good snack food, too. Out of all of the grocery stores, Whole Foods' deli meats are among the very best, even if deli meats are heavily processed. 

8. Foustman's Artisanal

What makes Foustman's Artisanal pepperoni so unique is the fact that it is bought and sold unsliced. Rather than buying a pre-packed bag of pepperoni slices, you get the whole, untouched stick. The downside to that is it means you must put in some extra work to unlock Foustman's incredible flavor. But, the rewards will be well worth the wait.

For $15.00 on the company's website, you can purchase one 8 oz pepperoni stick. Depending on how thinly you cut the stick, you can get anywhere from eight to 16 slices. That's just a smidge under one dollar per slice, which is, by far, the worst possible deal you can get with all of the products on our list. What keeps Foustman's higher than Vincenza's and 365 is the quality. Each slice, no matter how you cut it, is delicious, authentic pepperoni. It's the perfect choice for a DIY charcuterie board or a cheese plate.

7. Bridgeford

Bridgford is a middle of the road pepperoni product, cemented by its 3.3/5 rating on Amazon. However, its price is pretty unbeatable. On the company's website, you can buy a six-pack of 3oz packages for $17.94, which totals out to $2.99 a piece, which is the lowest price mark in our ranking. But, sometimes a low price means the quality is not up to par, even though Bridgford's tagline on their packaging is "The Premium Brand."

Bridgford struggles with being too oily and having a spice that is uncontrolled. The latter often overpowers the taste of the pepperoni, which is, actually, quite delicious once you wade through the heat. Almost every Amazon review makes note of the greasiness, however, one reviewer said: "For the price, they're a-ok. My only real complaint is that they are pretty greasy, and not as dry as I like my pepperoni." If you have a preference for dry pepperoni slices, Bridgford is not the brand for you. However, if you'd like a pepperoni with a commanding spice and a delicious taste underneath then look no further than here.

6. Private Selection

Private Selection is primarily sold at Kroger for $7.49 per 14 oz bag. It's one of the most plentiful options in our ranking, and it has the flavor to back it up. You can even get a sandwich pepperoni option for $4.49 a package, but you get significantly less product. Their "Old World Cracker Cut" is perfect for pizza, cheese plates, and charcuterie boards. But, what makes Private Selection a great choice for pepperoni lovers is that you're getting more than two-times the product than what other brands are offering.

It's a thin pepperoni, which makes for a great, crispy topping on pizzas when baked. Of course, Private Selection doesn't offer the most delicious or memorable taste, but it's still a really good, non-greasy pepperoni that comes in at a great value. The size of the Cracker Cut makes it perfectly sharable and snackable. Private Selection doesn't offer the most eclectic pepperoni, but it's a delicious option with a classic hint of spice.

5. Margherita

While many pepperoni brands on this list have some type of spice to them, Margherita is a particularly mild option. However, that mild taste is really great, especially if you're not looking for something spicy. For $7.92, you can buy a 16 oz bag at Walmart, which is a great deal similar to Private Selection. Unlike Hormel or 365, however, Margherita's pepperoni is thickly sliced.

But, what keeps Margherita pepperoni from shining bright is how un-dynamic it is. It's a very, very plain pepperoni offering with a sweet yet boring taste. Granted, it's highly snackable and great for a cheese plate or charcuterie board, but if you're looking for a bold flavor, Margherita is unlikely to heed the call. With a price point that lands on the higher side in this ranking, the quality of the product just doesn't line up with the cost. You can get much more delicious brands for less. What is working for Margherita, though, is quantity. There's a lot of pepperoni in every bag, which makes it an appealing and worthy option.

4. Applegate Naturals

Applegate Naturals makes meat-based products that are often on the pricier end of the spectrum, and their uncured pepperoni option is $6.49 per 5 oz pack at Target as of this publication. They are deli-sized, and are marketed as being a "spicy kick to elevate your Italian sub" on the company's website. What's unfortunate, though, is how few slices you get in one package. About 20 slices come in one unit, which will run out quickly, especially if you're making a pizza with them.

What works for Applegate, however, is the quality of their products. They consistently deliver delicious meats, and their pepperoni is no different. Customers tend to agree, too, as reviews have been favorable for Applegate online. One Google reviewer wrote that the pepperoni is "crazy good" and has a "non-aggressive taste," while another said it's "pricey, but high quality." If it's in your budget, Applegate Naturals are a great pepperoni option. You know you're going to get a great tasting deli-style meat that is much less processed than other options, like Vincenza's.

3. Hormel

Available at Giant Eagle, Target, and Walmart primarily, Hormel is an underdog pepperoni brand. It's not the most glamorous option, but it's affordable and delicious. With a price point of $3.94 a bag at Walmart, Hormel's 6 oz option offers plenty of value for a good taste. Much like Bridgeford, though, Hormel does fall victim to being an oily pepperoni. Luckily, the flavor profile more than makes up for it.

We wouldn't call Hormel cheap, but it definitely is a heavily processed pepperoni product, nearly as processed as your typical deli meat. There's something nostalgic about Hormel, though. The pepperoni has the consistency of what you'd find on a frozen pizza, yet it has a freshness to it that transcends that relegation. Hormel achieves something that most other brands don't: It strikes a great balance between salty and spicy. If you're looking for a fancy, dry pepperoni, Hormel isn't the answer for you. But, if you want a good, delicious product for a reasonable price, then Hormel could, and should, become your next pepperoni go-to.

2. Boar's Head

Boar's Head pepperoni can take care of, virtually, any need you have for your deli meat. The brand offers pre-packaged slices as well as sticks big enough to cut your own sandwich slices. The downside for some could be that Boar's Head is traditionally too big to be a pizza topping. However, the pepperoni's taste outshines the size limitations fully. It's the perfect middle ground of greasiness, not too oily but not too dry. Having a versatile pepperoni like that helps cater to more people.

The price is not too high for Boar's Head, either. You can get a 6 oz bag for $5.39 on Instacart. You can also purchase Boar's Head at Kroger, Ralphs, and Albertsons. Customers have responded positively to the pepperoni, as well. One Amazon reviewer said: "Use all due caution with this product. Boar's Head Pepperoni has been found to be highly addictive. Once tried it will be a permanent addition to your shopping list. This is the gold standard for pepperoni." That is some glowing praise, and we agree with their assessment. 

1. Battistoni

Since its inception in 1931, Battistoni has perfected the art of pepperoni. It's a versatile brand, because it offers multiple formats for its products. You can get Battistoni pepperoni sliced in 5 oz packs, as a 7 oz stick, in a 5 lb. bag, or in a 25 lb. case. Few pepperoni brands in the world have that kind of accessibility, and it's a major factor as to why Battistoni takes the gold medal in our ultimate ranking. Not to mention, Battistoni's taste is great. It's got a balance of spice that brings in a heat factor that other pepperoni brands don't have. While other pepperoni products are too hot, Battistoni finds the right spice point.

The best options are the 5 oz pack, which you can buy at $6.99 a piece at the time of this writing, and the 7 oz stick, which costs $7.99 a unit. Battistoni is known for making their pepperoni in a traditional "Western New York Style," which means that it's naturally wood-smoked and semi-dry cured, making it a perfect pizza topping. But, Battistoni pepperoni is a great snack food, too. Amazon reviews have been greatly positive as well. One reviewer noted that Battistoni has "a nice spicy flavor" that intensifies when you bake it, while another customer claimed the brand was "more nuanced than the pepperoni I was getting from the grocery store."