Marsha Wickersham shows two convenients ways customers can enjoy pie.
Convenient packaging options are lifting the American pie industry ever higher. At The Great American Pie Festival held during the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), attendees toured a fun-filled environment and sampled delicious pies from leading pie manufacturers, which also provided key insights into trends.
“Anything single-serve in the bakery is hot and getting hotter,” said Ken Hazelton, sales manager for Fresh Foods Corporation of America, makers of Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies. “Grab and go is such a big trend, and people will pay for quality. For all price points, pies will sell. Americans still have a love affair with sugar.”
Cyrus O’Leary’s featured enticing flavors such as Marionberry and Kahlua Cream, which is made with Kahlua liqueur.
Indiana’s official state pie, Sugar Cream Pie, is featured at The Great American Pie Festival by Wick’s Pies Inc. Marsha Wickersham, vice president of sales and marketing for Wick’s Pies, showed two options (whole and single serve) for their famous Sugar Cream Pie, which is made from her great grandmother’s recipe.
Linda Hoskins, executive director of the American Pie Council, said The Great American Pie Festival featured award-winning pies and plenty of new and interesting flavors. Along with pies from Cyrus O’Leary’s and Wick’s, pies featured at the booth are from Jessie Lord Bakery and Harlan Bakeries.
With the holidays around the corner, pie season has begun. And the delightful treat is just as popular as ever.
“The pie economy accounts for at least $700 million a year,” Hoskins says. “Believe it or not, approximately 186 million pies are sold in grocery stores every year. And keep in mind, that doesn't even include restaurants.”
When it comes to Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie is the hands-down favorite. Its history dates back to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.
Whether it’s apple, lemon merengue or cherry, pies have long been an American tradition, and since 1986 the American Pie Council has sponsored National Pie Day on January 23 as a way to raise awareness, enjoyment and consumption of pies.
Not that this time-honored dessert needs any help with its popularity. Ninety percent of Americans agree that a slice of pie represents one of the simple pleasures in life.
And pie just isn’t for after-dinner dessert. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they’ve had pies for breakfast. Pies as lunch (66 percent) and midnight snacks (59 percent) also have a popular following, appealing to the growing number of bakery consumers who want a sweet snack.