Eyes on the pies
When it comes to comfort food, we are a nation of pie fanatics with 75% of people enjoying at least one a month, according to recent research. With 46% of consumers expecting to pay more than £5 for a homemade pub pie, operators can expect to reap as much as 70% gross profit from these little beauties – a fairly convincing message that pies more than justify their place on menus in most establishments
With the ninth annual British Pie Week just around the corner, it is time to celebrate one of our most popular and versatile dishes – be it sweet, savoury, traditional or something a little out of the ordinary. The possibilities are endless.
Chris Braeger, Sector Controller for Foodservice, General Mills UK, Ltd comments: “The pie is at the heart of British cuisine, giving customers the perfect mix of winterwarming comfort food and value for money. Research – as well as our own insight – shows there is a captive audience out there actively seeking authentic, homemade, local dishes and nothing is more versatile to meet these demands than the pie.
- Know your audience: women (30%) prefer Chicken & Mushroom fillings; Steak & Ale tops the menu for men (33%) while the over-55s (34%) favour Steak & Kidney
- 16% of men eat four or more pies in a month while 87% of middle-aged customers enjoy at least one a month
- The perfect pie has a puff pastry lid (32%) while 28% would add a shortcrust base
- Minimise food wastage by using your Sunday Carvery leftovers to make limited-edition pies
- Tempt customers with a trio of mini pies so they can sample the different fillings
- Consider themed evenings such as ladies night, or ale-and-pie tasting evenings in conjunction with your local brewery
Download a free British Pie Week recipe booklet
Jus-Rol Professional has developed a free recipe book to help caterers join the British Pie Week celebrations and profit from putting homemade pies on their menus. The book contains a variety of recipes including Stilton, Apple & Almond Pie and Low & Slow Ox Cheek Pie.
Download the free recipe booklet from www.jusrol.co.uk/professional/
Favourite Pie Fillings
Recent research has shown that Steak and Kidney is our best pie filling, with nearly a third of people questioned saying this is their favourite.
Steak and Kidney (30%)
Steak and Ale (26%)
Chicken and Mushroom (25%)
Chicken and Leek (9%)
Vegetable Pie (8%)
It’s not just the filling that is important, consumers also have preferences when it comes to pastry.
Perfect Pastry Combination for Pies
Puff pastry lid (37%)
Shortcrust pastry bottom and puff pastry lid (26%)
Shortcrust pastry bottom and lid (19%)
Shortcrust pastry lid (18%)
Premium pies on the rise
“While provenance and regionality continue to be big drivers in the pie arena, the buzz word in the world of pies at the moment is ‘premiumisation’,” says Kevin Morel, Managing Director, Oliver James Foods. “This is largely due to the fact that today’s consumers are better informed and more educated about food than ever before.
“Caterers and foodservice operators are advised to offer premium quality products worthy of consumers’ expectations - expectations that are being driven upward by various factors such as personal experience of fine dining establishments, celebrity chefs on TV, and well-known high street brands that have brought ‘premiumisation’ to the retail sector.
Pies for all
With increasing numbers excluding gluten from their diet – whether for medical or lifestyle reasons – it is worth including gluten-free pies on your menu.
“Within gluten free itself, the fastest growing category is vegetarian,” observes Morel. “It’s interesting to note at this point that many people assume all gluten-free products are vegetarian, but in fact this is not so. Our research suggests that there are, in fact, many meat eaters out there who are looking for gluten-free products. Also worthy of note is the popularity of pulled meats and the fact that we are now increasingly marinating our meat before cooking.”
Spice is nice
“As luck would have it, the demands being placed upon the food industry to reduce the salt content in recipes has coincided with increased consumer demand for spicier products containing ingredients such as chillies and peppers,” comments Morel. “As any chef will tell you, reducing salt can make a dish taste very bland, but fortunately we are able to compensate for this by returning that flavour and seasoning through the use of spicier ingredients, to create products with a flavour profile that also happens to be exactly in tune with what consumers are currently looking for.”
For a whole host of pie recipes, tips and advice, visit www.jusrol.co.uk