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Pie Face, pies and football

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2015-September 2016, n=14,416. Thumbnail image: copyright Andrew Yee (Flickr Creative Commons)

With reports that beleaguered fast-food chain Pie Face may soon be sold, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research bode well for the company if it gets back on track: the number of Australians (aged 14+) who like eating pies (and pasties) has grown from 8.1 million (42.6%) to almost 9.4 million people (47.5%) since 2013. Not only is that a whole lot of potential customers, it’s a fine excuse for Roy Morgan to shine a spotlight on Australia’s pie people…

For starters, pie fans are more likely to live in rural areas than capital cities: 51.0% of country Aussies are partial to pies/pasties, compared with 45.6% of city dwellers. When one considers the quality of so many country bakeries, this makes perfect sense.

South Australia is the country’s pie heartland: 52.8% of its residents enjoy them. Given that the famous ‘pie floater’ was invented in Adelaide, one might at least expect this popularity to be driven by residents of the state’s capital, but their passion for pies/pasties (50.2%) pales in comparison with that of their country counterparts (61.6%).

Where Australia’s pie/pastie eaters live


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2015-September 2016, n=14,416

There is a distinct gender skew among Australia’s pie fans, with men comprising 57.4% and women the remaining 42.6%...which calls for a pie chart, needless to say…

A male-dominated food fancy: Australia’s pie fans by gender


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2015-September 2016, n=14,416


The football connection

As clichéd as it may sound, Roy Morgan data confirms that footy and pies are a match made in heaven, with supporters’ level of ‘involvement’ in their chosen code also having some bearing on their penchant for pies.

An above-average proportion of AFL supporters (56.4%) like eating pies/pasties, with financial members of AFL clubs (59.0%) and supporters who attend matches (59.8%) being even more partial to them. (Obviously, it’s no coincidence that Aussie pie brand Four’n Twenty sponsors AFL teams Brisbane Lions, Fremantle Dockers and Port Adelaide Power.)

Similar proportions of general NRL supporters (55.5%) and financial members of NRL clubs (55.4%) are pie fans, while supporters who attend matches (56.3%) are slightly more likely to like eating them. Once again, Four’n Twenty is in on the sponsorship action, partnering with Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks.

Meanwhile, 58.5% of A-League supporters like pies/pasties, a higher proportion than either AFL or NRL supporters—but none of the League’s 10 teams have a pie-related sponsor. In contrast to the other two codes, pies are more popular with A-League supporters who watch matches on TV (56.7%) than attend matches (54.4%) or are paid-up members of an A-League club (52.4%). Could this be an TV advertising opportunity waiting to happen for Pie Face?

Football supporters, their level of involvement, and pies/pasties


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust), October 2015-September 2016, n=14,416. Base: Australians 14+


Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Amid reports that Pie Face is on the verge of being sold, it’s interesting to see that South Australia is home to the country’s highest proportion of pie lovers. Currently, Pie Face has stores in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland: but perhaps the new owners should consider expanding beyond the east coast?

“Furthermore, Pie Face’s stores tend to be in capital cities—with more than half their stores located in Sydney, a city whose residents are less likely to enjoy eating pies/pasties than anywhere else in Australia. Indeed, as our data suggests, a move into key rural/regional areas might bear fruit for the chain.

“Of course, nobody would be surprised to learn that pie fans are predominantly male, or likely to be supporters of the three main football codes. After all, buying a pie while at a match is almost obligatory, a fact clearly not lost on AFL/NRL sponsor Four’n Twenty.

“But geographical location, gender, and football affiliations are just the tip of the iceberg. For pie/pastie brands and retailers keen to really understand those consumers in the market for their product, there are few resources more useful than Roy Morgan’s profiling tool Helix Personas. Breaking down the population into 56 distinct segments (Personas) based on demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, behaviour and values, Helix allows us to pinpoint those Aussies most likely to be pie fans.

“For example, 59.1% of folks from the high-earning, house-proud Career & Kids Persona like eating pies/pasties. This family-oriented group spends a lot of their leisure time at home, and are certainly not averse to grabbing some take-away to enjoy while watching a movie with the kids on their state-of-the-art entertainment system.

“On the other hand, less than 35% of the socially active hipsters from the Social Flyers segment like eating pies, preferring more exotic, bespoke dining experiences. It would make little sense for a pie retailer such as Pie Face to set up shop in a neighbourhood with a concentration of Social Flyers.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%