Who ate all the pies? We did!
If you’re looking for a ‘growth’ industry to get into, it seems you could do a lot worse than the pie game. Sales are on the up and the experts predict that pies could have a market value of more than £1 billion by 2012.
Market research firm Mintel say that sales of pastry-based savouries are climbing by about five per cent per year – great news during a time of economic distress when most of us are living on berries, roadkill and puddle water.
Part of the reason for their popularity is the fact that pies and pastry-based snacks are largely regarded as comfort food. Let’s face it, whenever another red bill drops on to the doormat, the first thing we normally do (after setting fire to it, obviously) is to reach for the nearest chicken and ham pie and start munching maniacally.
But Vivianne Ihekweazu, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel (great name, great occupation), says that pies are now more socially acceptable than ever before. As she chewed on one of Melton Mowbray’s finest, she spat: “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."
Sadly, she then spoiled the fun a little bit by adding: “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.” Fuck that – it’s Pieday Friday and we’re off to Greggs for a bag of steak bakes.