NEW Year, celebrated just a few days ago, is marked in many houses by a family dinner where steak pie is the star of the show.
But, as pie producer Bells points out, pies in general have been increasing in popularity all though the year. The team behind the brand that took the number 7 spot in our Kantar Worldpanel top 40 Scottish brands in Scottish take-home, in our December issue, used other Kantar data to show both how well pies were doing and how important Bells Pies are to the category. Sales of fresh pies in the year covered in last year’s figures had grown by 5.6%, it said. Scottish consumers clearly liked branded pies which accounted for 56.5% of sales value.
Bells took 56.2% of the Scottish branded market. Some 66% of all fresh pie shoppers bought Bells pies over the measured 12 months. Bells accounted for 65% of branded Scotch pie sales and four in five Scotch pie shoppers bought Bells. The firm also took 24% of branded steak pie sales.
The company is very positive about the lines that came out of its new product development programme last year. Its Peri Peri Chicken pies Chicken Tikka Masala pies, Haggis Bakes and Chilli Beef Bakes have been listed by major retailers.
At the launch, James Stuart, director of sales and marketing at Bells Food Group, said: “It’s always difficult to create new products which actually grow the market and are not simply variations or extensions of existing lines.”
Chicken Tikka Masala Pie and Peri Peri Chicken Pie are designed to appeal to customers who may not ordinarily purchase pies but who do enjoy spicy food.
“The Peri Peri variant is particularly exciting as the flavour profile is proving very popular with the younger consumer, whereas the Tikka product has been carefully blended to satisfy all palates,” said Stuart.
Before the launches Bells had produced just one D-shaped product – its bridie. But, the firm said, market analysis showed there was strong consumer interest in hand-held snacks. It expects its Chilli Beef bake to attract new customers and give established consumers something interesting to try.
• NEEPS and tatties form an important part of the traditional Burns Supper.
And fast-growing Scotty Brand says its pre-chopped, ready-to-cook neeps and tatties pack takes the hassle out of preparing the veg. The 500g packs are available this month in time for the Burns events.
Michael Jarvis, Scotty Brand’s head of marketing, said: “Provenance of our food is paramount; our fresh produce from Scotland is seen as a guarantee of quality. All our products are produced and packed in Scotland, and are easily recognised in store. This gives customers the assurance when they are buying our products that they are buying great quality food-perfect for Burns Night celebrations.”