LIFE OF PIE

Pie consumption reaches record high with steak and kidney topping the pie charts, finds new British Pie Week research from Charlie Bigham's

It seems months of economic and political uncertainty, an unwavering love of traditional flavours and changing eating habits are driving extraordinary demand for the ultimate comfort food – the trusty pie – with the average Brit chomping down a staggering nine pies a month according to new research* from luxury pie maker Charlie Bigham’s.

·  Pies are proving more comforting than ever with Brits consuming an average of 108 pies a year – more than two a week

·  Despite the rise in the popularity of veganism, meat-based pies are most popular with steak & kidney and steak & ale topping the list

·  The jury is still out about what constitutes a ‘proper’ pie as pastry only narrowly beats mash as the nation’s favourite topping  

·  The average Londoner matches up to the pie-loving North East of England as the biggest consumers, who munch over 20 pies a month 

·  Pies are becoming as popular mid-week as they are on Saturdays 

·  Convenience and portability are driving demand with younger pie eaters

·  Despite our so-called sweet tooth as a nation, savoury pies overwhelmingly win out

Ahead of British Pie Week from 4-10 March, the premium pre-prepared food brand has released Britain’s faves topping the pie charts:

BRITS' ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIES:

1 Steak and Kidney

2 Steak and Ale

3 Shepherd’s Pie

4 Chicken and Mushroom

5 Cottage Pie

6 Fish Pie

7 Pork Pie

8 Steak and Mushroom

9 Chicken, Ham and Leek

10 Steak and Potato

Who ate all the pies? The country’s biggest pie fans, who eat over 20 pies on average a month, are aged between 25-34 years (40%) and can be found living in the North East and Northern Ireland (31% a piece), closely followed by London (28%).  Women are the biggest comfort eaters of pies.

Pie time – The pie’s popularity with a younger audience is driven mainly by its convenience and portability. Almost one in ten have admitted to eating a pie on the tube or train, 16% at work and 14% at a sporting event.  Similarly, pies are helping younger generations survive the week with a third eaten on Wednesdays as the perfect hump day treat.

Use your crust – Debates have been raging for years about what constitutes a pie topping but according to the Charlie Bigham’s research, the jury is still out with short crust (52%) and puff pastry (50%) narrowly ‘topping’ mash potato (47%)

Do us a flavour – Despite the growing trend for vegetarian and vegan cuisine in the UK, beef features in half of the nation’s favourite pies. When asked about their dream pie – Brits were similarly meat focused with turkey and rabbit chosen as potential new flavours.

Sweetie pie – Whilst three quarters of respondents chose savoury over sweet, traditional flavoured sweet pies also remain firm favourites. Apple Pie, overwhelming so for 45% of Brits followed by: Lemon Meringue Pie (34%); Apple and Blackberry Pie (27%); and Mince Pies (21%).

Taste rules supreme – Pies are no longer cheap, tasteless fare according to the research: only 7% are now eaten at sporting events and over a quarter are open to trying new flavours with quality and taste cited as critical factors for over a third.

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Charlie Bigham, founder of the eponymous brand behind the survey, says:

“We hear a lot about wacky new ingredients and foodie fads but there’s something reassuring in knowing that when it comes down to it there’s not much that beats a good old pie. It’s no surprise to me that simple, traditional flavours are still the clear winners. Steak & Ale is our best seller and like all our pies its packed full of taste, there’s no scrimping on the meat and our puff pastry is hard to beat”.

Charlie Bigham
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As well as its range of pastry and potato topped traditional pies, Charlie Bigham’s makes meals inspired by classics from the UK and around the world. Favourites including Chicken Tikka Masala, Lasagne and Macaroni and Cheese, taste just like homemade favourites and can be bought for one or to share.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

* online survey conducted by Atomik Research among 2,001 UK adults aged 18+ in February 2019

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For more information please contact:

·         Rhiannon Winfield, Highlight PR: 01225 444268 / rhiannon@highlightpr.co.uk

·         Ben Veal, Highlight PR: 01225 444268 / ben@highlightpr.co.uk

Additional Regional Statistics:

London:

·  Londoners are the least likely to eat pie at dinner time (38%) compared with the rest of the UK (60%)

·  1 in 10 Londoners have named the bath as the strangest place they’ve eaten a pie.

Northern Ireland:

·  Potato topped pies are the favourite in Northern Ireland with Cottage Pie voted as number one (36%) and Shepherd’s Pie coming second (33%)

·  A fifth (20%) of those living in Northern Ireland have eaten a pie on a train compared with a UK average of 7%

North East:

·  Three quarters of people living in the North East of England have made a pie from scratch, making them more likely than any other region to do so.

·  The North East is the least likely to choose a sweet pie over a savoury option (17% vs. average of 24%)

Scotland:

·  Scots are more likely to eat a pie at a funeral (13%) than people from any other UK region (6%)

·  Only 46% of Scots have made a pie from scratch compared to a UK average of 60%, making them the least likely to have made a pie in the whole of the UK. 

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Highlight PR is a results-focused PR and content marketing agency, based in Bath.  The agency specialises in consumer PR for baby, kids and family brands and licensed characters and B2B PR for architects, designers, events, leisure and creative companies.