Although 2012 is not being labeled “The Year of the Pie” as was 2011, pies continue to play an important role for in-store bakery dessert sales. Pie sales in supermarkets increased during the 52 weeks ending April 28, 2012. Nationally, the category averaged weekly per-store sales of $657, a gain of 2.1 percent.
Pies accounted for 6.2 percent of in-store bakery sales, a 0.1 percent decrease from the previous year. The pie category includes specialty/gourmet, fruit, open faced, mini/sliced/half, cream/custard, tarts, meringue, lattice and other pies.
Pies posted their highest dollar sales during holiday weeks. The week ending Nov. 26, 2011, posted the highest sales for the category, $3,714 per store per week, driven by the Thanksgiving holiday. This was a 5.2 percent increase compared to Thanksgiving week of 2010. The Christmas and New Year’s holidays also drove sales for pies, posting $1,564 and $1,085 per store per week, respectively. The week ending Feb. 25, 2011, was the lowest selling week, with average per-store sales of $448.
Pie sales varied regionally. The East and Central regions outperformed the national average, selling $922 and $774 per store per week, respectively. Both regions’ average weekly sales increased compared to the previous year, with weekly dollar sales per store rising 2.5 percent in the East region and almost 1 percent in the Central region. The West was the only region to experience a decline in average weekly sales, decreasing 1.4 percent. This was driven by a 9.5 percent decrease in specialty/gourmet pies’ average weekly sales. The South region’s sales of $537 per store per week was the result of a 4.4 percent increase due to a 6.5 percent gain in specialty/gourmet pies.
Smaller pies see larger gains
Within the pies category, specialty/gourmet, fruit and open-faced pies made up 67.4 percent of dollar sales. Compared to the prior year, specialty/gourmet pies’ average weekly dollar sales decreased 0.5 percent and fruit pies maintained average weekly dollar sales. Conversely, open-faced pies experienced a strong sales increase of 4.3 percent. Mini/sliced/half pies, which make up 9.5 percent of the pie category, grew average weekly dollar sales 12 percent, giving support to the ongoing small portion trend.
Cream/custard, tarts, meringue and lattice pies made up 22.5 percent of category share, and all except meringue pies increased average weekly dollar sales.
As the summer dwindles down and fall approaches, pies will again be a major focus in the bakery department. Seven of the 10 highest-generating sales weeks occurred between Halloween and New Year’s last year, making the execution of holiday promotional strategies crucial to pies’ performance.
This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, the Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in research, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for April 30, 2011, through April 28, 2012, representing more than 62 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Nielsen Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.