C-stores can cash in on the revival of traditional British food.

Whether it’s fancy restaurants serving up steak & kidney pudding or TV chefs getting creative with bangers ’n’ mash, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional British fare.

Pasty giants Ginsters knows a thing or two about traditional food, with a turnover of two million Cornish pasties a year, and it believes there’s an untapped market for good old-fashioned pies in c-stores.

The major multiples are already having success with
own-label pies but there have been no premium-tier savoury pies for independents until now.

With an rrp of £2.29 for a 250g pie, the deep fill pies come in steak, roast chicken and steak & mushroom varieties, with a nine-day shelf life. Ginsters claims the pies are guaranteed better-filled than any other pre-packed pie, with prime cuts of locally produced beef in the steak varieties. They can be eaten hot or cold, as a (substantial) snack or as a meal replacement.

Ginsters head of marketing Andy Valentine sees the pies located in the take-home fixture next to the ready meals. He says: “People can pick them up on their way home. Our own research carried out in developing the range has revealed that 84% of hot pie buyers said they are likely to buy pies from Ginsters.”

The company is making other changes to its 40-product portfolio. It is launching a new savoury pastry, the Bakes range, to replace its current Deli Bakes.

Valentine continues: “This latest launch is part of our continuing drive to bring new consumers into the Ginsters brand and thereby increase the case return for our retail customers.” The new Bakes are keeping the olive oil flaky pastry of the Deli version but are 15g bigger. (The size change is in line with consumer research that revealed health isn’t a top concern for Ginster’s core consumers).

They come in two new Mediterranean-inspired flavours: chicken & mozzarella, with a tomato & basil sauce, and ham & mozzarella, with a fresh cream sauce, tomatoes and Provencal herbs. The 175g Bakes have an rrp of £1.49.

The company is also revamping its sandwiches, with better colour differentiation and communication to help consumers find their way around the range more easily.

The new premium cards positioned in its sandwich lines will also emphasise the company’s local sourcing policy and fresh ingredients. Valentine confirms: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve communication with consumers. Our new recyclable card inlays will hopefully broaden the appeal of the range.”

The company claims to have attracted five million new consumers in the past five years with more investment than anyone else in its market - some £25m.
Valentine also confirms that c-stores are “incredibly important” to Ginsters and that there are plans to increase distribution to high street c-stores.

More than £6m is being spent on marketing in 2005 under the ‘Real honest food’ banner, including sponsorship of Channel Five’s Joey and Two and a Half Men sitcoms as well as tongue-in-cheek radio, poster and press advertising.