This Holiday Season, It’s All About The Pie

New survey from Pillsbury shows nearly two-thirds of Americans prefer holiday foods to gifts, and ranks the top 10 pies to try this holiday season

MINNEAPOLIS--()--This year more families will spend the holidays in the kitchen than hunting for gifts, according to a recent survey of American households. The study, conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Pillsbury, revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans consider eating holiday foods to be the highlight of the season, and nearly half list cooking or baking as their most anticipated activity, with pie as the number-one treat for the holidays — no surprise, given 2011 was deemed the “Year of the Pie,” by NPR after trend spotters and food bloggers heralded the iconic pastry as the darling of the food world.

Receiving gifts trailed the list of preferred holiday activities, which also included spending time with family and friends, decorating the home and watching holiday movies — reflecting the nation’s renewed focus on family traditions over material goods. In fact, 77 percent of Americans said they plan to spend time with the family this season. Family gatherings are not complete, of course, without delicious food and desserts.

“Baking pie is a roll-up-your-sleeves activity that lets families embrace the true spirit of the holidays — warmth, laughter and quality time with family and friends,” says Greg Pearson, marketing manager for Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. “Pillsbury has served as a long-standing, trusted resource for holiday baking, and continues to offer clever new ideas to make it easy for the modern family to maintain favorite traditions while creating new ones.”

Pearson says the brand has seen a merging of the nostalgia in classic recipes, with the desire for a new twist on these desserts, as younger generations join previous generations in the kitchen to create delicious holiday meals together.

The survey revealed that 94 percent of Americans will enjoy a slice of pie this holiday season. It also found the top holiday pie flavors these traditional and modern hosts will be serving up this year.

Respondents ranked the top 10 pies to try this holiday season as:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Apple
  3. Pecan
  4. Cherry
  5. Chocolate Cream/French Silk
  6. Sweet Potato
  7. Banana Cream
  8. Peach
  9. Berry
  10. Mincemeat

The survey also found that 54 percent of holiday bakers are under 35 years old. “Today’s cooks are thinking outside of the traditional pie pan,” says Pearson. “They’re lining muffin tins and oven-safe ramekins with pastry dough, adding their favorite fillings and baking for quick and simple treats that impress family and friends.” He says despite the busyness of it all, they want to share the special foods that symbolize the holiday season—without the fuss.

Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts are a simple solution to the age-old quest for delicious, flakey pie crust, and they allow plenty of flexibility for both new and seasoned bakers to put their own twist on holiday favorites.

For example, New-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie offers a quick and easy twist on the classic holiday dessert. You can even substitute maple-flavored syrup for part of the evaporated milk for your own secret ingredient!

Or, for the ultimate slice of decadence, try the timeless French Silk Chocolate Pie. Rich chocolate rests in a flakey crust, topped by festive whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

For more traditional occasions, try the Golden Pecan Pie or the delightfully indulgent Chocolate Pecan Pie. Both feature plenty of nutty goodness with special twists to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Follow @LovethePie or visit to find easy ideas for pies this holiday season.

About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.


For General Mills:
Sarah McQuilkin

Release Summary

According to survey, more families will spend the holidays in the kitchen than hunting for gifts. Food is a highlight of the season, and pie was ranked the number-one dessert. Recipes from Pillsbury.


For General Mills:
Sarah McQuilkin