The UK hot pie market is worth £268 million and is growing by +4.8% YOY, according to IRI data.

Isaac Fisher

Pukka is the leading brand in the hot pie category and has contributed the most growth over the last five years (Kantar).

Worth £47.5 million (+15.8%), Pukka is growing three times faster than the category (IRI).

Isaac Fisher, General Manager at Pukka, tells Grocery Trader about the brand’s new range of slices, sausage rolls and a pasty.

What are the key products in your range that supermarkets should be stocking? / Do you have any NPD in the pipeline? / How has the Vegan range been performing so far?

After 2 years of listening to what shoppers want, we’ve stepped beyond pies and just announced the launch of our brand-new range of Slices, Sausage Rolls and a Pasty which are made to be enjoyed anytime, anywhere – hot or cold.

We’d encourage all retailers to get behind the launch because it meets a genuine unmet need within the category. All products in the epic line-up – which includes a trio of Slices, Pork and Vegan Sausage Rolls and the Pukka Beef Pasty – deliver the same great Pukka taste that people know and love, from the first bite to the very last crumb.

As well as offering retailers the opportunity to attract 27 million new shoppers1, we’ll be showcasing the products on screens this Autumn with our biggest ever cross channel campaign, highlighting how the new products give epic people an epic food experience.

This is a huge next step for the brand, but pies have always been our heartland and retailers should look to stock our bestsellers. In particular, our two biggest chilled individual pie SKUs – All Steak and Chicken & Mushroom – are firm favourites across the nation, and cumulatively account for 58% of Pukka sales2 in retail.

Given the soaring demand for plant-based food, our duo of Vegan pie recipes – Vegan Chicken & Mushroom and Vegan Minced Steak & Onion – are also must-stocks. Since launch, they’ve added 2 million new shoppers to the category3, meaning if you aren’t currently stocking these pies, you’re missing out.

Furthermore, frozen food has been flying off shelves throughout the pandemic, with 32% of consumers purchasing more frozen products since lockdown4. As shoppers continue to spend more time out and about, they want quick and convenient substantial meals that don’t compromise on taste. Enter our range of Shortcrust Pastry Microwaveable Pie Twin Packs which cook in just 4 minutes straight from the freezer in the microwave. The line-up includes: All Steak, Minced Beef & Onion and Veggie Cheese, Leek & Potato, plus our brand-new Chicken & Bacon and Vegan Minced Steak & Onion recipes.

Finally, stocking up on our Just for Two range – which is made specifically for two people to share – is a must to capture sales from those looking for sharing pie options which are a little more special, yet are great value for money. The trio of recipes includes Steak & Red Wine, Chicken, Ham & Leek, plus a vegetarian Vintage Cheddar & Leek recipe with a poppyseed and golden breadcrumb topping.”

What is the value of the UK retail pie market? What is Pukka’s market share and how has the company been performing?

The UK Hot Pie market is currently worth £268 million and is growing by +4.8% YOY5, demonstrating a huge opportunity for retailers. The even better news is that Pukka is actually growing three times faster than the category6.

We’re currently worth £47.5 million (+15.8%)7 and our market share has increased from 16.9% to 19.6% in the past 3 years which is almost +£20 million in shopper spend8.

On top of this, we’re the leading brand in the Hot Pie category and have contributed the most growth over the last 5 years9, which we can attribute to our insatiable appetite for demand-driven NPD, our continued focus on our core products, and investment in marketing. We said there’s a Pukka for everyone, and we’ve delivered.

What advice do you have for retailers on merchandising the pie category in store?

Our one top tip to multiple grocery retailers would be to merchandise Pukka products together. Our 100% recyclable packaging creates a warm beacon of orange across the pie fixture, which is attention-grabbing to help drive sales.

What marketing activity did The People’s Pie campaign consist of and was this successful in growing sales? Did British Pie Week in March stimulate sales of Pukka?

Our award-winning multi-channel The People’s Pie TV campaign – which was broadcast across TV and VOD – last hit screens in March, during British Pie Week. The campaign was also supported by activity across OOH, social, digital, PR and shopper marketing.

This is obviously a key time of year for us, and we love getting involved to celebrate pies with the nation. On top of the campaign, we also partnered with McCain throughout British Pie Week to help retailers drive sales amongst shoppers looking to enjoy a pie and chips meal, through collaborative shopper marketing.

Through a combination of these campaigns, sales throughout British Pie Week increased +15% versus the weekly average post British Pie Week10.

Is there any further marketing support planned for Pukka?

Yes – we will be returning to screens this Autumn with The People’s Pie TV campaign to help retailers drive category sales during a key moment for pies, when the nights draw in and people want tasty and convenient meals. This time around, we’ll be focusing on our Just For Two range and we’ll also be shining a spotlight on the new Handheld range via a separate campaign which will be our biggest yet.

 

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