Free pie: Retailers embrace National Pie Day to build brand awareness
By Jay Keller
Not to be confused with “Pi Day,” which is celebrated by math enthusiasts on March 14 each year (3.14), National Pie Day (Jan. 23) was first declared by the American Pie Council in 1985 and since has given many a reason to be sweet on America’s favorite dessert.
Pie has become so engrained in our culture that the term “American as apple pie” is used to reference everything from grassroots politics to when describing good or wholesome things.
The makers of Mrs. Smith’sand Edwards desserts, The Schwan Food Company, recently polled customers to find out which dessert tops their list and, without question, apple pie remains the American favorite.
Chocolate was the second-best, according to survey respondents, followed by pecan, pumpkin and Key Lime. And, while most people prefer homemade pies, Schwan found a growing sentiment for store-bought delicacies since many people don’t really have time to make a pie from scratch.
Overall, National Pie Day is really a publicity-driven event that offers retailers the opportunity to celebrate in their own way in an effort to engage the public.
Some celebration ideas offered by the American Pie Council include gifting local first responders, new neighbors or by saying “thank you” to friends or loved ones with homemade or store-bought pies.
Retailers nationwide are getting more creative each year in ways they celebrate National Pie Day.
Free slices and discount pies are one way local and national retailers look to bolster “pie awareness.”
Many Village Inn restaurants will be also be offering a free slice of select pies with any purchase while guests can also receive $2.00 off any whole pies.
Mann Orchards in Metheun, Mass., is all about apple pie, offering free slices to everyone and whole pies through in-store contests.
Or, many local businesses are sponsoring pie-eating and baking contests as a part of the celebration.
Other locals have found success by combining tourism with the lure of free pie. The 9th Annual Pies on Parade Tour in Rockland, Maine, allows visitors to sample more than 45 different pies at restaurants and inns across the city.
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