Pie combines predictability and nostalgia to create a scrumptious approach to showcase seasonal elements and regional tastes.
The phrases “consolation in a crust” go an extended approach to understanding why pie continues to be a crowd pleaser. As a deal with synonymous with indulgence and gatherings, pie supplies tried-and-true consolation, providing conventional flavors together with infinite prospects for personalization, regional prospers and sparks of innovation.
Customary flavors corresponding to apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, pumpkin, key lime and pecan compose nearly all of gross sales, demonstrating pie is a dependable automobile for authenticity. Regardless of its persevering with reputation, Circana discovered all flavors present unit decline aside from key lime, which is flat in unit gross sales.
Blackberry doubled in gross sales, however that is very small from a unit perspective, in accordance with Melissa Altobelli, consumer insights principal for dairy and bakery vertical, Circana, Chicago.
Moreover, nostalgia stays a key driver in serving to shoppers join with the flavors and codecs of their childhood, with Child Boomers and Gen X having the very best affinity for pie, in accordance with Catherine Wisloski, supervisor insights and buyer expertise, Daybreak Meals, Jackson, Mich.
However don’t exclude youthful generations as potential pie lovers simply but. The heartwarming return of neighborhood pie retailers in bigger American cities indicators pie is efficiently wooing new converts and pie continues to carry a spot on one out of 4 restaurant menus.
Increasing the definition
True pie lovers perceive one thing so good doesn’t all the time require a flashy calling card.
The standard dessert has lengthy been deemed a scrumptious, if predictable, dessert choice. However with new desserts all the time competing for the eye of shoppers, it may be troublesome for the pie class to say itself when there’s all the time one thing newer and extra Instagrammable on the horizon.
Pie producers want to change that mindset by providing shoppers new methods to consider when and the place pie may be consumed. Gardner Pie Co., a 75-year previous pie producer situated in West Newbury, Mass., is thought for pushing boundaries.
With a watch towards the longer term, the corporate is increasing upon the ‘what and when’ of pie. This contains providing frozen pies with distinctive taste combos, together with colonial and a topped pies, a variety of savory vegetable pies, combined berry and smaller pies and South of the Border conventional fruit pies with a success of spice. Its South of the Border Cherry Lime Chipotle taste is an American Pie Council award winner.
At Tippin’s Gourmand Pies, Kansas Metropolis, Kan., conventional apple and cherry stay the favourite fruit pies, however throughout the holidays, these alternatives take a backseat to pumpkin as the corporate’s top-selling pie. The vacation pie is thought for its puree, which is aged two years to boost the pure pumpkin taste and supply a barely darker shade to the filling. Its different seasonal pies embody chocolate walnut, pecan, pumpkin cream and candy potato.
Capitalizing on the recognition of the sleek cream pie filling of its best-selling French Silk pie, Tippin’s developed a brand new line of LTO Celebration Silk pies. The silk pies function wealthy scratch-made fillings and rolled, flaky crusts in flavors corresponding to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Confetti Birthday Cake, Grasshopper, Butterscotch Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Malt and Orange Dream – out there in choose shops this fall.
Tippin’s can also be making strategic selections designed to concentrate on bringing a youthful client demographic to the pie class, in accordance with Robin Venn, president of Tippin’s Gourmand Pies. The corporate welcomed a brand new mascot, Tippi, to assist introduce youthful shoppers to the pleasures of consuming pie. Tippi, who debuted on the IDDBA present in June, additionally serves as the pinnacle style tester for Tippin’s Pies and is able to assist with baking, slicing or tasting pie at any time.
Ideas like Tippi spotlight the concept that pie is a social and sharable dessert. Subsequently, it’s no shock the top-selling pie sizes are 22-24 ounces, serving roughly six individuals.
Retail tends to concentrate on 9-inch pies and foodservice on 10-inch pies. Shoppers procuring at membership shops can discover even bigger pies corresponding to Costco’s new 4 Berry pie with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. The pie weighs roughly 5 kilos and serves 10 beneficiant slices.
Complete pies present robust unit gross sales progress, up 8.8% and accounting for 72% of gross sales with personal label and retailer manufacturers accounting for 76% of gross sales. Circana anticipates continued unit progress in complete perimeter pies. Whereas gross sales of perimeter pies look to be declining total in unit gross sales, there’s an uptick pushed by single-serve particular person pies.
Pies designed to serve 1-2 individuals have seen greater than 50% gross sales progress up to now 12 months. Tippin’s six-inch pie caters particularly to smaller households and single servings. The corporate can also be increasing its retail-ready Heartland Pies, which embody the 4 top-selling vacation pie flavors and 6 fruit pies. The 8-inch pies are pre-labeled and prepared for ambient show instore.
Smaller sizes also can supply affordability and portion management, cut back meals waste and encourage the sampling of latest flavors, dovetailing with the worldwide pattern for smaller, extra frequent indulgent treats.
A survey carried out by The Hartman Group, Responsible pleasures: The stability between indulgence and wellness, discovered that buyers view a nutritious diet as one that features a point of indulgence and 50% take into account indulgent meals and drinks as a part of a wholesome, balanced weight-reduction plan. 31% search indulgences with purposeful advantages, in accordance with The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash.
Whereas indulgence stays the modus operandi in pies, there’s some curiosity within the want for sugar-free pies with the persevering with reputation of the keto weight-reduction plan, in accordance with Melissa Trimmer, company govt chef, Daybreak Meals. Conversely, adverse well being elements surrounding using aspartame have bolstered a adverse view of non-nutritive sweeteners amongst shoppers.
However the reduced-sugar pattern will not be but creating a serious influence on bakeries. Sugar discount stays extra standard in CPG and residential recipes, in accordance with Daybreak Meals. Whereas choices for reduced-sugar pies stay restricted, firms like Tippin’s provide supermarkets with ready-made, reduced-sugar choices in French Silk, apple and cherry.
Whereas sugar discount might not but be a top-requested attribute, different elements have to be on pattern and able to meet the expectations of extra discerning prospects, in accordance with Tom Cavanaugh, vp gross sales and advertising, Gardner Pie Co. These expectations are just like others throughout the bakery section, with pies free from synthetic colours and flavors, unpronounceable elements and HFCS.
“Youthful generations have grown up with merchandise touting a discount in sugar and have come to count on indulgent taste with a discount in sugar,” Cavanaugh stated. “That is basically better-for-you with out sacrificing style.”
Choices for plant-based additions additionally proceed to develop barely. Gardner Pie is receiving extra inquires for allergen-free and plant-based choices as shoppers, retailers and foodservice search for methods to develop the definition of pie.
A method pie makers can meet the demand for excellent style and better-for-you is with pies that comprise purposeful advantages. Nuts corresponding to walnuts and pecans can be utilized in pies as meal for a crust, chopped as an inclusion and as a full-size garnish. Containing a buttery, nutty taste profile, walnuts complement chocolate, fruit and vanilla functions together with hearty and savory ones, too.
Thought of a nutrient-dense meals, walnuts additionally ship key vitamins as a supply of excellent fat and alpha-linolenic acid, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein, in accordance with the California Walnut Board, Folsom. This makes walnuts a dependable ingredient for permissible indulgence and an allergen-free various providing a variety of dietary advantages.
”Accommodating dietary requests is an effective way to supply shoppers extra choices, whereas staying true to their dietary preferences,” Trimmer stated.
Wanting forward: pie traits to control
Pie affords loads of scrumptious causes for permissible indulgence all through a number of dayparts, particularly as pie makers search for methods to redefine how and when pie is served.
“Wanting on the subsequent 12 months, pie gross sales ought to stay steady whereas traits corresponding to native, seasonal flavors and elements that swimsuit aware shoppers deliver innovation and pleasure to this conventional favourite,” stated Catherine Wisloski, Daybreak Meals.
“We count on to see extra in the way in which of thrilling taste inclusions to maintain the pie class contemporary and interesting for instore bakery shoppers,” stated Robin Venn, Tippin’s Gourmand Pies, LLC
“There will probably be a continued push for hand-held, smaller parts. Extra comfort will open up the place pie may be bought, and prebaked pies can supply continued labor financial savings. There will even be choices of broader, extra modern flavors and continued motion towards better-for-you choices,” stated Tom Cavanaugh, Gardner Pie Co.
“Pies are nostalgic themselves and everybody has a reminiscence of pie that deliver us again to pleased instances in our previous. However new flavors and types of dessert outdoors of pies are a risk to the class as there was restricted innovation within the house over the past 4 years,” stated Melissa Altobelli, Circana