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PIES Specialist


Mark Boyer President Tippin’s Gourmet Pies


PIE AT RETAIL


We aren’t seeing a plethora of new flavor entries; most of the innovation is in form or size. When it comes to fruit pies, the only real trend in which we see activity is to pair different fruits, like blueberry and peach, or apple and cranberry. And these offerings really don’t get much traction. Tippin's introduced a fresh pineapple fruit pie last year and the results were “Wow!” when we got consumers to try it, but it took sampling.


We’ve challenged our fruit purveyors to come up with “new and different” offerings and they look back at us blankly. The more new and exotic fruits tend to not be available in the quantities we would need, and while they might be available fresh, the IQF options are often unavailable, making it difficult for us to source them.


What we continue to see is that on the fruit pie side, apple pies continue to dominate, followed by cherry, strawberry rhubarb, peach, and blueberry. The last three tend to swap places based on geography. While flavor innovation seems important in many categories, in this space it isn’t a driver today.


Cream pies are much easier to innovate in flavors, and we have had success with new coffee and chocolate-based development. We have two new flavors coming out in the next four months, but I won’t say what they are until they hit the shelves.


Pies are more of a “traditional” category; it seems there is almost a nostalgic cache to pies, and for many people, pies remind them of family and sharing and holidays and great times. The need for innovation seems less critical in this category; we just need to give the consumer a reason to think of pies, and the rest seems to take care of itself.


The ISB is a great place to go for a reward or a treat. Again, there are a handful of new cream pie flavors, but we think more of what is driving indulgent sales is that the product is right sized for the occasion. Smaller pies are the fastest growing segment in the category. As for Tippin’s, our refrigerated cream pie business is exploding due in large part to the fresh ingredients and real cream topping that we are using. The shelf-stable cream pie business is shrinking; we think that a) they’re just not that good, and b) consumers are looking for a fresher, cleaner- label product.


Holidays are a critical part of the business. The category will do approximately 40% of the sales during 25% of the year. Holidays that do very well for us include President’s Day (cherry), Valentine’s Day (French Silk and cherry), St. Patrick’s Day (key lime), Easter (lemon-based pies and coconut cream), Mother’ Day (French Silk), Father’s Day (French Silk), Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day (fruit pies), and once September begins we have


continued on pg. 161


160


WHAT’S IN STORE | 2020


© 2019 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association


Pies


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