February is National Pie Month, which means, yes, you can have your pie and eat it too. And, to celebrate this edible “holiday,” many pie bakers are holding contests, philanthropic events and even debuting a new version of the pastry dish.

Wholly Wholesome is hosting its second annual Wholly Pie! recipe contest, says Doon Wintz, president of the Chester, N.J., company.

“We’re encouraging consumers to submit an original pie recipe using Wholly Wholesome pie crusts and shells for a chance to win prizes. We are also giving away prizes on our Facebook page, which consumers can find at Facebook.com/WhollyWholesome ,” Wintz says.”

To provide wholesome products to the pie-loving community, in October 2011, Wholly Wholesome introduced several new products.

For instance, its 6-in. organic traditional pie shell comes in packs of three and allows for individual, smaller portions. Plus, it was a silver finalist in the 2011 NASFT Sofi Awards for the Outstanding Organic Product category. The 8-in. dairy-free pumpkin pie, reformulated from Wholly Wholesome’s traditional recipe, is made with all-natural pumpkin and tofu puree for both vegan and non-vegan consumers, Wintz says. And, its 9-in. organic rolled pie dough contains two individually wrapped pie crusts that can accommodate both sweet and savory ingredients.

“We are [also] planning a few new product launches for 2012 to keep ahead of our consumers’ requests and dietary needs,” Wintz adds. “We’re always looking at different flavors, tastes and textures for new products, whether they are pie shells, cakes, breads and more. It’s an ongoing process of finding the next great set of products that our consumers can use to make their baking experiences more enjoyable.”

For its part, Kinnikinnick Foods Inc., Tyler, Texas, is running a consumer contest for the best pie recipe submitted using the company’s new frozen ready-to-bake pie crusts, says Kim Reiniger, marketing manager.

“We will post the recipes and award the winners with prize packages from Kinnikinnick Foods,” she says. “We will use social media avenues like Facebook and Twitter to promote the contest. We are considering doing a live stream video featuring the winning pie recipe as well.”

In September 2011, Kinnikinnick launched its first frozen gluten-, dairy- and nut-free ready-to-bake crust. Each 100-calorie-per-serving pie crust can be used to mimic any traditional single crust or double crust pie.

“Our customers have been asking for a pie crust option for years, and this product will offer not only the convenience of a ready-to-bake crust, but also the homemade taste that they have been longing for,” Reiniger says.

The American Pie Council (APC), Lake Forest, Ill., kicked off its celebration on Jan. 23 by urging members to donate pies to local hometown heroes, including fire and police stations, teachers, veterans’ homes and more.

“Sharing a favorite pie with the hero in your neighborhood or city is a fun, thoughtful way to recognize their service to your community,” says Linda Hoskins, executive director. “At a time when so much of our culture is impersonal and fast-paced, pie is a kind, meaningful gift that encourages us to take a break, linger at the kitchen table and savor the goodness of life.”

Furthermore, some pie manufacturers will team up with local grocery store chains to offer specials on pies through March 14, which is National Pie Day, Hoskins adds.

“On this day, our members will be encouraged to go to local schools and set up some pie-making classes with students,” she notes. “In addition, some of our manufacturers will team up with local supermarkets to sponsor special coupon days for schools in their communities.”

To learn more about these and other pie concepts, sign up to attend the APC/Crisco National Pie Championship, which takes place April 27-29 in Orlando, at www.piecouncil.org. 

featu�?�?a?f?@?�?�5??ell to retiring Bill Pursely, vice president of the association’s food safety education department, who leaves a major mark on operations after nearly 32 years assisting food companies both large and small succeed in their endeavors to keep food safe.  We’re thrilled to have Jim on board contributing these interesting articles, so watch for The Food Safety Factor to appear regularly.


Sweet and savory snacks and baked goods are becoming a hot trend now. They have manufacturers looking toward new and exciting ways to grab consumer interest in their products through better-for-you options and unique flavor profiles. Our Market Trends for February examines new and recent product introductions that meet the needs of consumers who want sweet, savory and a combination of the two.

And take a look at our Final Word column from Marina Mayer, our Executive Editor, who discusses National Pie Month. Also in February, National Pie Month encompasses an assortment of happenings, as many pie bakers are holding contests, events and product introductions centered on this old-is-new-again pastry dish. It’s incredible how popular pie has become once again.

Pie notwithstanding, ethnic foods are creating quite a stir in the snack and bakery market segments. We’ve discovered various new ethnic product developments and twists on existing ones, so page over to our February Special Report to find details on the latest offerings in this fascinating product category.

The high-tech side of our issue includes a Production Technology article on depositors, dividers and rounders. These days, replacing an outdated depositor, divider or rounder—instead of repairing them—can result in production and financial benefits for bakers. Skyrocketing ingredient prices, stricter government sanitation regulations, growing consumer demand for whole-grain baked goods and a host of other factors are prompting some bakers to take a hard look at their current equipment and decide to invest in new machinery. We recently spoke to  to several equipment suppliers that have launched new systems and machinery. They share details on plenty of versatile, efficient and easy-to-use models from which to choose. So take a look and enjoy!