A Scots tradition grabs top spot as the UK’s favourite pie

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The iconic Scotch pie was the UK's most sought after pie in the past 12 months. Pic: Szakaly
The iconic Scotch pie was the UK's most sought after pie in the past 12 months. Pic: Szakaly

Related tags: National Pie Week, Scottish Bakers, Bells Food Group, Scotch pie, Eat Great Meat, Bovril

To celebrate the UK’s 2021 National Pie Week (1-7 March), online UK butcher Eat Great Meat analysed the most searched for pies by the nation over the past year.

Results revealed the Scotch pie is the most searched for pie in England, Wales and of course, Scotland. The iconic pie received 385,497 searches or 16.9% of total searches for pie across the UK over the past 12 months.

Originating in Scotland, this pie traditionally contains mutton but commonly contains beef, particularly when sold across England. Typically, the Scotch Pie is sold at football games with a cup of Bovril, resulting in the occasional reference to football pies. Aligned with the plant-based trend, last year a meat-free version was rolled out by Scotland’s leading pie brand Bells. According to Bells Food Group, the brand sells close to half a million of its iconic Scotch pies every week.

Bovril is the trademarked name of meat extract paste similar to a yeast extract, developed in the 1870s by John Lawson Johnston.

The team at Eat Great Meat, a Yorkshire family butcher that delivers UK-wide, arrived at the results after analysing UK searches for different pies in Google Keywords and Trends over the past year.

While the Scotch pie grabbed top spot among most consumers, banoffee pie was pinpointed as the favourite in Northern Ireland.

Vegan pies are growing in popularity, coming in the second most searched for pie spot, followed by vegetarian cottage pie.

Vegan and vegetarian pie fillings now account for 35% of all UK pie searches. In fact, a plant-based pie is Londoner’s majority’s choice (14.9% of searches), along with consumers in Birmingham (13.2%) and Sheffield (10.5%).

Mashed potatoes is the favourite pie-side across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while Bovril is Scotland’s favourite accompaniment.

“This result comes as absolutely no surprise to us at Scottish Bakers​,” said Alasdair Smith, CEO of Scottish Bakers, which hosts the annual World Championship Scotch Pie Awards.

“We have long known that this iconic Scottish superstar pie has a worldwide following but to have its premier position confirmed is proof of the UK’s love for tradition and quality baking. We would urge anyone based in Scotland who has searched for a Scotch Pie recently to pop down to their local baker or butcher and ask to try one for themselves, they are always in stock freshly made each day.

“If you live elsewhere in the UK, why not ask in your local shops if they would consider adding them to their product range, we promise you a real treat.”

Related topics: Ingredients, Snacks, Markets, Health

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