Desserts represent the largest super-category in the bakery department, and pies accounted for 13.4 percent of dessert sales in the 52 weeks ending Sept. 26, 2009. Nationally, pies averaged $594 per week per store, a 3.5 percent increase from last year. Pies' contribution to total bakery dollar sales was flat, remaining at 6.3 percent.
The subcategories within the pie category are fruit pies, specialty/gourmet pies, open face pies, cream/custard pies, tarts, mini/half/sliced pies, meringue pies, lattice pies and other pies. The top three pie subcategories — fruit pies, specialty/gourmet pies and open face pies — made up two-thirds of the pie category, with a 66.2 percent share. Other pies had the smallest dollar share with 1.3 percent. The other pies subcategory is composed of chocolate fudge pies, mince meat pies and assorted pies.
Pies had a significant spike in dollar sales during the holidays. Overall pie sales peaked during the week of Thanksgiving, with $3,399 per store, five times the annual average.
Lattice pies and fruit pies grew the most nationally, with average dollar sales up 12.3 percent and 8.7 percent respectively. Meringue pies followed closely, up 8.1 percent. Mini/sliced/half pies and specialty/gourmet pies also increased average dollar sales versus a year ago.
The pie category was strong in the East region, as all subcategories except tarts had average dollar sales growth compared to a year ago. The East region sold the most pies on average, $819 per store per week, up 8 percent from the previous year. Lattice pies and mini/sliced/half pies increased the most in the East region, up 47.2 percent and 22.4 percent respectively. Pie contribution to total bakery in the East region was 5.9 percent of all bakery sales.
The Central region's average pie sales made up 7.2 percent of all bakery sales, the largest contribution of any region. Dollar sales increased 7.3 percent compared to the previous year. The Central region's preferences differed from the other regions, as fruit pies increased the most, up 17 percent, and lattice pies declined by 3.6 percent.
In the West region, average dollar sales were flat, but it was the only region to increase tart sales. In the South region, pies accounted for $464 per store per week, up 1.1 percent from the previous year. It's clear that regional preferences vary widely within the category, but pie sales are keeping pace with other bakery categories.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from the 52 weeks ending Sept. 26, 2009, representing more than 62 percent of the national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Perishables Group's Kelli Beckel by phone: 773/929-7013, or e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.