Why Do Round Pizzas Come in Square Boxes?


The age-old question that has plagued both hungry person and delivery man alike: Why do round pizzas come in square boxes? This is a solid inquiry and not totally without merit. Square peg into a round hole comes to mind. However, among a few theories floating out in space, a few have some legs---and boxes---to stand on.

Round Boxes are Impossible to Make

  • The idea that pizzas come in square boxes because round boxes are impossible to make is the most common answer. This, however, isn't entirely accurate. A machine can be programmed to create any shape box. It is just punching in numbers and letting a robot take over. The argument that you cannot take a piece of paper and fold it into a circle seems a reasonable counterpoint, but then again with enough time and money anything is possible. Just ask John Harvey, inventor of the round pizza box named Presseal.

It is too Expensive to Make Round Boxes

  • Piggybacking off the impossibility of creating a round box, it is also argued that if one could make a round box, the time and money involved would not be worth it. This argument boils down to simple economics. It is just easier, faster and cheaper to make square boxes to store and ship that pizza pie around town.

Square boxes are easier to store

  • Another reason thought to be behind round pizzas in square boxes is derived from simple storage standpoints. A round box would be much harder to keep from rolling around if space was tight and boxes were kept on their ends. Also, square boxes stack much easier and are simpler to break down, and rebuild, if necessary.

Originally pizza was square

  • It is an homage to those in 1000 AD Italy and Sicily who first cooked an ate what is considered to be the first pizzas for the notion of modern-day round pizzas in square boxes. Originally, the flat bread and meat meals our ancestors ate came of square pieces of bread, thus essentially making them a square pizza. Even to this day, some pizza makers cook special square pizzas. It looks better in the box at any rate.

Box manufacturers keep it this way

  • Another theory as to why round pizzas come in square boxes is that box makers already have a large stock of square boxes used for a variety of other reasons on hand. If does not make sense for them to create an entirely new type of box for one industry that doesn't necessarily need a rehaul on boxes. The individual pizza makers continue to buy their boxes from these manufacturers---square, round or diamond.

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  • Photo Credit image courtesy of. www.sodahead.com
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