Fans of Pukka Pies will no longer need to go to the local chippie or bakery to get their fix of pastry, as the brand is making its retail debut in the Midlands.
Three of the company’s biggest sellers - Steak & Kidney, Chicken & Mushroom and Minced Beef & Onion (rsp: £1.19-£1.29 for 230g) - have listings in 44 Sainsbury stores and around 40 Co-ops across the Midlands, the brand’s largest market. According to Pukka Pies, the Midlands consumes more pies per head than any other region in the country. Sales will be reviewed over a six to 12-month period and a national launch could follow, it said.
The pie brand has a long heritage in takeaways and bakeries across the country, but it is the first time in its 40-year history that it will be available in retail. “Many consumers have said it is odd that they can’t buy the pies in supermarkets,” said Peter Mayes, marketing and business development controller. “We believe Pukka Pies are different and better than others in the market.”
The brand currently sponsors ITV’s coverage of Championship football and has launched a national radio campaign until Christmas. A promotional tie-in with next year’s World Cup is also planned.
Ginsters entered the market in August (The Grocer, August 20, p56) in a bid to shake off the dominance of own label - and Pukka Pies hopes to do the same, said Mayes. “The market is quite anonymous. Our strategy is to develop the brand and its ‘don’t compromise’ positioning.”
Stefan Chomka