Rachel Cranston, Head of Marketing at Pukka Pies spoke to Wholesale Manager.

What was your role in developing the new campaign?

The People’s Pie is our biggest ever cross-channel marketing campaign featuring a combination of TV, VOD, digital, social media, outdoor and PR activity, as well as extensive trade promotions. The creative was a huge effort from the team at Pukka, some of who even took starring roles in the ad.

When were Pukka Pies founded and who by? Do they still own them?

Pukka was founded by Trevor and Valerie Storer in Leicestershire in 1963 and is now the UK’s number one hot pie brand across the Foodservice1 and Grocer2 sectors. Today we’re still proud to be an independently run family bakery in Syston – a stone’s throw away from where it all began.

How are Pukka Pies doing in sales terms and what are your expectations for the new creative? Where are Pukka Pies on sale?

We’ve been making and baking pies in the local area for over 55 years and bake 180,000 pies and pasties every day which are supplied to wholesalers, supermarkets, convenience stores, fish and chip shops, foodservice outlets, and stadia across the UK.

Pukka’s sales continue to go from strength to strength. The hot pie category is worth £241 million across total retail, and Pukka is the driving force behind the category’s growth. Our leading portfolio of chilled and frozen pies has helped us become the runaway number one pie brand, currently growing by +17% value2.

How would you sum up the Pukka Pies proposition?

A Pukka pie is a convenient and tasty meal. What’s more – there’s a pie for everyone, from those who love a traditional Steak & Kidney or Chicken & Mushroom for the chip shop lover, or our award-winning Cheese, Leek & Potato pie for those who prefer to tuck into a veggie meal. Our microwaveable frozen range is also a quick and easy dinner choice, with our frozen micro pies ready after just four minutes.

Did you film The People’s Pie ad in a studio or a real bakery?

The campaign is centred around real people, so we filmed at the Pukka bakery with three of our team – Will, Claire and Phil – who make and bake Pukka pies for the people of Britain.

We filmed real people in their homes, as well as paying homage to our local Leicestershire area – visiting a local chippy as well as a football match to celebrate the fact that Pukka is available both in and out of home.

Which TV channels has the campaign been on? What other media?

The ad, which ran across VOD and TV, was featured on channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky and was broadcast from Wednesdays to Saturdays, as research shows these are the days that people are most likely to choose a pie for dinner3. The campaign has so far reached a total of over 32 million adults nationwide.

Which wholesalers are Pukka Pies stocked in? What share of the hot pies category do you have? Which are your biggest selling SKU’s?

We are widely stocked by wholesalers across the UK – but we’re always looking for more wholesalers to join our success story and grab a slice of this successful category.

Our individual All Steak Pie and individual Chicken & Mushroom Pie are absolute must stocks from the Pukka range, as cumulatively these SKUs account for 60% of Pukka’s retail sales and are in growth by +24% and +21% respectively2. Similarly, our vegetarian individual pie, the award-winning Cheese, Leek & Potato Pie, is the best-selling branded NPD in the Hot Pie category over the past year.

Independent retailers and foodservice operators can pick up these SKUs – as well as the rest of our range – from all major wholesalers.

What are the peak times of day for hot pie purchases?

We know that half of all Hot Pies in and out of home are eaten on weekday evenings3. This is because pies make for a quick and tasty meal when people are pressed for time – especially as the weather gets colder.

How sustainable is your pie packaging?

The sustainability of our packaging is important to us, and we recognise that plastic waste has become a key environmental and social issue. We want to be part of the solution and are looking at ways that we may be able to improve this moving forward.

1 A poll of more than 2,000 adults (Censuswide, 19th – 23rd July 2019) found that Pukka is the brand they most want to see on shelf

2 IRI and Kantar 52 w/e 08.09.19

3 Pukka commissioned research 2019

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