February 2, 2011: Pie

For years many have predicted the end of the cupcake, and I have vehemently disagreed. And while I’m not ready to declare the death of the cupcake (though we’re apparently eating less of them), there’s another tasty treat Americans are gobbling down-pie.

Yes, pie. According to the Los Angeles Times, “new versions of pie are popping up at bakeries and restaurants.” In fact restaurant consultant Andrew Freeman told the Times, “We predicted there will be dedicated pie shops, pie carts and pie trucks opening in the next year.”

Did you eat pie last year? If not, you’re apparently one of the few Americans who didn’t. NPD, a research firm, says in 2010 American ordered 722 millions servings of pie (12 million more slices than in 2009). And cupcake consumption was down 18 percent last year.

The Times details the pie variations business owners are coming up with:

  • Wedding pie (instead of cake)
  • “Lolli-pies” (pies on a stick
  • Bite-size pies
  • Pie happy hour
  • Pie trucks (offering pizza and dessert pies)

Will pies be as successful as cupcakes have been? Maybe, only time and the American palate will tell. But it’s an area worth exploring for entrepreneurs. And the earlier you get it, the bigger your potential share of the pie.