Saturday, November 4, 2006

Makin' Pies

This is the kind of entry that interests me a great deal, and you maybe none at all. But I don't charge you to this read this, and there are no intersitials, so skip it if you want.

Earlier I criticized the Union Products website as being inferior, and was going to make a point about other locally-owned industries of common household items (I myself have never bought), to prove that you don't have to be Nabisco to have a fancy-pants website.

"America's favorite pie." Really?
Then again, this is America's favorite sport, so I shouldn't be so skeptical.

18 flavors of 4 inch pie.
"A leader in the 4” baked pie category..."
Is Table Talk in fact America's FAVORITE?

Ladies and Gentlemen.... Pie Statistics.
You don't have to click that just yet; I'll do that for you. (Suburbia says this is my gift to society and that I should hire myself out to read legal documents and summarize them)

Table Talk is, in fact, the #4 best seller, according to the 2005 Census of Manufactures -- 5.6M in dollar sales that year -- hugely ahead of Krispy Kreme, which is not even Top 10.
Table Talk is a "snack pie," like Hostess and Entemanns and Little Debbie. The census distinguishes between snack, fresh, and frozen.

This would seem to challenge the claim of favorite, so I next visited The American Pie Council - "The country’s only organization dedicated to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love for pie, year-round."
(italics mine. Is there is some organization doing it only part of the year? We must find them and rub them out)

topics from this year's Pie Council Seminar:
Sales in Today's Industry
What the Market Wants Today
Nutrition in Pies
Pie As a Marketing Idea
Ingredients for Today's Pies
Pacakaging Innovations
Shelf Stable Pies
Oh my, what are the unstable pies? Mmmm...neon and cinnamon...

Don't underestimate the power of the pie publicist, who can get 2 full morning zoo minutes of pie talk. I once knew an ice cream publicist. She'll back me up on this - morning radio is all about product payola. But for all that, the Council won't endorse a favorite.

I wrote to the fine people at Table Talk, to find out how many of America's favorite snack pies are made every day, but the sales coordinator did not reply. Perhaps I should have pretended to be a 7th grader writing a report for school. Or Opie and Anthony.
I was also unable to confirm the number of employees down-the-Talk, or any real business facts about the company at all, but leave it to eBay to once again have the last word on any web search.

Pie tins are collectible! One yankily-frugal description reads, "You are bidding on a vintage pie tin. The bottom of the pie tin says New England,Flaky Crust Pie,Table Talk,5c deposit." One must add, by necessity, "Oooo... haaaah?"

PS - this is a great song. If you're the downloading type, get this one.

One slice of pumpkin left.


  1. If that picture of the retAHded kids on the Table Talk website is supposed to encourage you to eat their pies, somebody made a grave judgement error.
    That said, I once stole a table talk pie from Cumbies in fourth grade. I'm not proud. It was yummy. But then, I also liked those things shaped like apple turnovers that came in a waxy bag. What were those called? Apple was excellent. Cherry was good, too, but it was so sweet-tart that it hurt my tongue. Since we're talking about pie, can I just say how much I wish McDonald's would return to deep frying THEIR apple pies? Now THAT was delicious!

  2. a footnote... on Hostess pies. Fruitpie was a Magician because pie is simply magic.

  3. 6 Nov, seeing the cover from Saturday Evening Post indicates you have access to the cover photographs. If so, find the cover for September 20, 1919 and find a likeness of yours truly. I wrote to the museum for any information on who posed for the portrait and got a reply but no information.

    When we were down to one piece of piece of pumpkin pie I did not realize it was literally the last piece.

    With the death of flamingos and tasty pie what is next? By the by, I discovered the base commissary stocks Wheatabix. Did not buy.

    Do not know how to attach to this so will send a copy of the Post cover separately. I am sure you have a copy. JRS


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