Who Ate all the Pies?

Scots are set to boost Britain’s deflated economy in an appetizing way over the next two years.Scotland’s love of pies is set to help the market reach a value of more than one billion by the year 2012.Sales of the pastry-based savouries are increasing by 5% a year in Scotland says market research firm Mintel. The company states the most popular item in what it calls the “pies and pasties” category is now the beef-filled pie, which has ousted the sausage roll was the number one choice.

Vivianne Ihekweazu, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said they had also become fashionable.”While pies were often previously seen as being old fashioned, they have benefited from being repositioned as a popular gastro pub meal staple – moving them a step beyond the sausage roll in the eyes of the consumer as a versatile snack or viable main meal.”

The pork pie market on its own is worth £145m a year, according to the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

Judith Constable, from pork pie makers Dickinson & Morris, said their popularity was part of the trend towards locally sourced foods.”We are seeing consumers returning to traditional British foods such as pork pies and looking for authentic regional products with a long heritage,” she added.But Mintel warns tradition alone will not be enough to keep people buying pies.”For future growth to stay strong, manufacturers will also need to reformulate their pie and pasty ranges, making them healthier, with the use of natural ingredients,” Ms Ihekweazu advised.