The Aussie Pie Council is inviting baking businesses, bakers, pastry cooks and apprentices to enter their pies and sausage rolls in the baking industry’s longest running and official pie competition before 21 August. Read more
The first batch of Four’N Twenty craft beer pies rolls out today in Coles and Independent Retailer stores nationally.
The pies are a nimble twist on a Four’N Twenty, spiking Australian Angus beef mince with three distinctly different flavour variations, Peppered Beef pie with Dark Stout, Smoky-style Beef pie with Pale Ale and Classic Beef pie with Golden Ale.
An intriguing combination – craft beer in a meat pie – It’s a tasty emblem of grassroots Australian business. 100 per cent Australian angus beef is paired with craft beers from local Grand Ridge Brewery in Gippsland, Victoria.
Grand Ridge Brewery founder, Eric Walters is an Angus beef farmer come brewer who was very selective on what pie brand he partnered with, “We all love a Four’N Twenty, so we chose to work with Four’N Twenty based on their stellar heritage and emotional connection with Australia the world over,” he said.
For Four’N Twenty, the marriage of angus beef and beer was based on a keen understanding of consumers tastes – both male and female. The new range was quoted by participants in consumer focus groups as “something a little bit special”.
Four’N Twenty’s selected to work with Grand Ridge Brewery based on its local and International reputation for consistent top-quality beers.
“We engage in insight led innovation at Four’N Twenty – we research, listen to consumers and give them what they want. With the Craft Beer Pie, we wanted to make sure it was unique and something new that all Aussies will love,” said Anand Surujpal, General Manager – Marketing & Innovation.
Four’n Twenty has created the Topper, the first product from the company that is not a pie.
The Topper is a hand-held crispy breadcrumb parcel that comes with three filling options, Lasagne, Mac ‘N Cheese and Chicken Cordon Bleu. An entirely new product for the brand in Australia, the flavour range can be found in Woolworths nationwide and its own category on Wikipedia today.
“Four’n Twenty is proud to launch this completely new product to Australia. We have bridged the gap between a snack and a meal with delicious food on the move. We know Aussies will embrace the Four’N Twenty Topper just as much as they love and cherish all of our creations,” said Four’n Twenty CEO, Paul Hitchcock.
In March, the company conducted a survey with a group of 1,000 consumers to evaluate the new Four’N Twenty Toppers concept. On appeal, price, brand fit and consumption occasion more than 60 per cent of target consumers were hungry for the product, with the most excitement around the three flavours, the crispy bread crumbed shells and the convenience.
Australia’s iconic meat pie, Four’n Twenty, is celebrating its 70th birthday this year with record sales and new research that shows the meat pie is now more popular than ever.
Roy Morgan Research’s latest findings show the number of Australians (aged 14+) who like eating pies (and pasties) has grown from 8.1 million (42.6%) in 2013, to 9.4 million (47.5%).
That’s almost 1 out of every 2 Australian adults who enjoy meat pies – and the number is growing.
The increasing popularity of meat pies is reflected in the growing sales of Australia’s biggest selling pie brand, Four’n Twenty.
The company’s GM Marketing & Innovation, Stuart Smyth, says sales of Four’N Twenty pies are growing by 19% in supermarkets, and 2% in convenience stores.*
In 2016, Four’N Twenty sold a staggering 21 million pies, pasties and sausage rolls. That’s more than 57,000 consumed each day.
According to Smyth, meat pies have long been Australia’s favourite food because of their taste, convenience and value. The continuing growth in the company’s sales has been driven by flavour innovations and increased quality.
“We are growing the market by introducing exciting new flavours. Our Limited Edition Four’N Twenty Cheeseburger Pies, and Chicken Parma Pies, have been a big hit.
“And we’ve invested in state-of-the-art cooking technology, which has enabled us to increase the quality and flavour of the meat with our popular Real Chunky range.
“Four’N Twenty has every right to the title of Australia’s national dish – the Great Australian Taste – and that looks set to continue for a long, long time,” Smyth said.
The company will soon launch a consumer promotion celebrating its 70th year which will feature the great Aussie sense of humour for which the brand has become famous.
* IRI AZTEC, National Australia Grocery + P&C scan database, total $ sales vs YA, total FNT, MAT 29.01.17
An exhibition detailing the history of the meat pie and its iconic place in Australian culture is currently touring NSW libraries.
Titled ‘The Meat Pie: Australia’s Own Fast Food’, the exhibition is being curated by the Australian Society for History of Engineering and Technology (ASHET). It first showed in May last year and by the end of this year it will have visited around 40 NSW libraries.
Ian Arthur, who researched and curated the exhibition, told ABC Radio the meat pie dates as far back as the second century AD. The pastry in the pie was intended as vessel to contain the meat as it cooked.
Arthur said the history of the pie in Australia started with the first white settlers and, over time, the meat pie became Australia’s iconic fast food, in the same way America is known for hamburgers or Britain for Fish and Chips.
However, interestingly, Australians are not the biggest meat pie consumers. New Zealanders share our love of the meat pie and they each consume an average of 15 of the tasty packages a year compared to the 12 per year that Australians consume.
For the fourth year in a row, Mars Australia has been recognised as being one of Australia’s best workplaces by the BRW Great Place to Work Awards, being ranked as the 15th best place to work in the country.
The awards are Australia’s most highly regarded annual study of workplace excellence, identifying the top 50 Australian workplaces in terms of culture.
Sylvia Burbery, General Manager at Mars Petcare Australia said it is the company’s five core principles that distinguish and underpin its success in Australia.
“We are proud to be recognised as a great place to work. We believe our values and our people are integral to our success, which is why we have an unwavering commitment to creating a distinctive culture that is collaborative and energetic. In doing so, we are able to drive our business forward, and benefit communities,” Ms Burbery said.
From dynamic office floor plans that encourage collaboration to team cooking classes and the opportunity to bring pets to the workplace, it is the culture across all Mars business segments that was highlighted by the award. The company has also been credited for its wellness programs as well as local and global volunteering opportunities.
“After 100 years of global success, nearly 50 years of success in Australia and creating hundreds of products that have become household names, we’re still a private, family-owned business. Our story and our vision are an important part of our identity, and that inspires our Associates each and every day.
“Ultimately, people want to work for a company that inspires them, that fosters innovation and creates an engaging work environment, and that’s why people come to join, stay and grow with Mars Australia,” Ms Burbery said.
Responding to the release of Patties Food Limited 2015 (FY15) financial results, which showed a significant slump in earnings mainly due to the impact of the recent frozen berries recall, Patties CEO Steve Chaur said that future is looking much brighter for the food maker thanks mainly to their diverse food portfolio.
“The FY15 reported Net Profit After Tax [NPAT] result was significantly impacted by the frozen berries recall, which led to a $13.6m non-cash impairment (pre tax) of the Frozen Fruit business,” said Chaur.
“Our core savoury products, which represent over 90 per cent of our business earnings, performed solidly, delivering an increase in sales revenue and profit growth in our iconic savoury brands,” he added.
However, financial results are a lot like berries – you can always pick the better looking ones, and as such, the figures look worse when you notice the EBIT- or Earnings before income Tax result – where the drop in earnings went from $26.0 million in FY14 to $9.1m in FY15.
Chaur also noted that mechanisms have now been put into place to prevent a repeat of this problem.
“[It’s] Not appropriate to comment, other than to say we are continuing to test every batch before it is released to the market with nil detection found to date. Patties Foods frozen berries are amongst the most rigorously tested berries in the Australian market. “
Another meaty issue that is rubbing the Patties ledger the wrong way is that of beef prices, which have increased by about 40 per cent since the beginning of the year, a fact that is impacting on Patties profitability.
“Beef prices are at record highs in Australia, impacting all processors in our category. There’s been continuing growth in the global demand for Australian beef, so price inflation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Chaur.
“Patties Foods responded early in the past year to put steps in place to mitigate the ongoing impact of rising beef prices, such as a strategic procurement program, price increases and operational cost reductions.”
“We’ve also restructured our operations and driven our Bakery Continuous Improvement program, which has positively impacted on earnings over the past and coming year. “
“We are focused on expanding our savoury business, optimising our cost base, driving efficiency gains at our Bairnsdale bakery, and delivering profitable growth.”
Moving forward, concluded Chaur, it’s all about staying firmly in the black.
“New product development, effective marketing and channel focus have an important part to play in achieving growth.”