The pie category was the third largest in the dessert super-category in dollar contribution, following cakes and cookies.
Pies represented 6.3 percent of total in-store bakery sales during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 30, 2008. The pie category was the third largest in the dessert super-category in dollar contribution, following cakes and cookies. Pies averaged $567 per week per store, a 2.3 percent increase from the previous year, making pies fifth in growth in the dessert super-category. The pies category includes varieties such as fruit pies, specialty/gourmet pies, cream pies, tarts, mini/sliced/half pies, lattice pies and other pies.
Sales were relatively consistent in the spring, summer and fall, showing the most fluctuation in the early winter months. The category had its highest peak the week ending Nov. 24, 2007, with the Thanksgiving holiday, at $3,241 in average weekly per store sales. This was nearly six times the store average. With the exception of the first two weeks in December, each week from the week ending Oct. 27 through Jan. 5 registered above average dollar sales, indicating this is a key time period for generating category revenue. Highlighting the beginning of the New Year's dieting season, the week ending Jan. 12 showed the category's lowest sales at $380 in average weekly store sales.
Average weekly dollar sales grew in all regions compared to the previous year. The East region had the highest average weekly sales with $720 weekly per store, an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous year. Second and third to the East region, the Central and West regions outpaced the national weekly store averages with $701 and $578, respectively. Although the West outpaced the national average in sales, it posted the lowest increase over the prior year with 0.3 percent. The South region posted the lowest weekly store average at $458, but had the highest increase over the prior year at 3.9 percent.
Pies had a 6.3 percent dollar contribution to the bakery department for the total U.S, down 4.6 percent from the previous year. All four regions declined in pies contribution to total bakery sales. Driving the decrease was the West, down 6.5 percent; followed by the Central region, down 4.1 percent; the East, down 4.1 percent and the South, down 2.8 percent.
Nationally, fruit pies were the sales leader in the category. The subcategory accounted for nearly 30 percent of sales during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 30, 2008, followed by other pies at 18.2 percent, specialty/gourmet pies at 16.8 percent, cream pies at 16.3 percent, tarts at 7.8 percent, mini/sliced/half pies at 7.2 percent, and lattice pies at 3.8 percent. Mini/sliced/half pies had the largest increase in sales over the previous year for the total U.S, up 11.6 percent, further indicating that convenience, portion control and smaller household size are growing consumer trends. Driving the increase in mini/sliced/half pies was the South region, up 23.6 percent, and the Central region, up 31 percent.
This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group Inc. (PG), Chicago, an independent consulting firm. Reported results are for Sept. 1, 2007 through Aug. 30, 2008, and were compiled from grocery stores nationwide, representing 62.1 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.