Advertising, Marketing & PR

Published: January 24, 2020 | Updated: January 24, 2020

Very Pukka: Advertising agency helps nation’s hot pie favourite to grab larger slice of market

Robin Upshon, Walker Agency’s Creative Director (left), and Matt Clarke, Client Director, with the new-look packaging for Pukka. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Bournemouth advertising agency is helping the nation’s favourite pie maker to grab an even bigger slice of the market.

Walker Agency landed the tasty contract last year when they won the Pukka account.

The 30-strong company beat off competition from London agencies to secure the brief which included new product packaging, a national TV campaign, outdoor advertising and social media.

The hot pie market is worth £244m in the UK with Pukka accounting for £36m of this figure.

It sells around 60m pies a year in this country and abroad, Sales were up 17.2 per cent in 2019.

Matt Clarke, Walker’s Client Director, said: “It was a big win for us and I think it took the other agencies by surprise. They didn’t expect it.

“We don’t have a pitch team but, instead, take the people who will actually work on the account. It makes much more sense.

“The whole process was very time-consuming and a big gamble for us but it paid off.”

After securing the contract, work immediately began on planning Pukka’s biggest ever marketing campaign with the strapline ‘The People’s Pie.’

The aim was to show the different ways real people enjoy Pukka, whether at home, from the chippy or out and about.

The Pukka factory in Leicestershire.

Robin Upshon, Creative Director, said: “The campaign put people at the heart of the Pukka story. It also built on the brand’s family heritage.

“National TV ads aired from the middle of September to the end of October and went down very well. Pukka has had a fantastic winter.”

The People’s Pie campaign has already picked up plaudits. It was named as The Grocer’s Top Campaign in its Top Products Survey 2019 for meat snacks.

The latest stage of Walker’s involvement came to fruition this month when Pukka’s new 100 per cent recyclable orange beacon boxes, made from FSC-certified cardboard, started appearing on supermarket shelves.

They will be rolled out to all retailers by the end of January.

Robin said: “It’s a return to Pukka’s distinctive orange colour. It’s called orange optimism. You see it and you know immediately it’s Pukka.”

Founded by the Storer family in Leicestershire in 1963, Pukka is still an independent company, employing 360 people.

It is second only to Ginsters in the savoury pastries market but is the number one hot pie brand across the grocer and foodservice sectors.

Walker, which is a full service advertising and marketing agency, was founded by Martin Walker in 1994.

Clients include Condor Ferries, RIAS, Carnival UK, Amigo Loans, Mentos and – announced this month –  mouthwash and oral hygiene brands UltraDEX and Dentyl.