Topic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Pie In The US

November 25, 2021

Lenny DeFranco

When temperatures drop and life moves inside for the holidays, festivities and social gatherings tend to revolve around simple pleasures like drinking things that warm you up and eating food that sticks to your ribs.

That’s why this season, Premise followed up on our question about U.S. Contributors’ favorite holiday drinks by asking about your favorite holiday pies.

After more than 18,000 responses from people across the U.S., we have a winner — by a mile.

Pumpkin pie is America’s favorite holiday pie

In an astounding victory, pumpkin pie was voted America’s favorite pie with 34% of the vote.

Pumpkin pie earned almost twice the vote of the runner-up, apple pie. Which possibly makes sense with the benefit of hindsight: while apple pie is famously beloved in the U.S., the dessert is associated as much with all-American holidays in warm weather, like Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July, as it is with winter feasts. This splits the vote, so to speak, and leaves pumpkin pie — made of a fruit that only ripens in the fall — only one season to be enjoyed. (Yes, pumpkin is a fruit.)

Pecan pie did well to show, nearly tying apple for second place. After that, a surprising dropoff follows. I will admit cherry pie’s low ranking surprised me, placing as it did behind something called “sweet potato pie” and chocolate pie, which surely is just a cake, right?

Maybe the most surprising result is that a full three percent of people agree with the statement “I do not eat pie.” Can’t please everybody.

People are not baking their own pies 

You might think part of the appeal of holiday pies is the ambiance surrounding their creation: the scene of a family baking, flavors in the air, warmth all around. Not so. According to our Contributors, only about a quarter of U.S. pie fans are making their pies at all.

Two-thirds of our Contributor respondents buy pies from stores, including more than half from grocery stores. Convenience seems to be the driving factor behind pie consumption — or, potentially, a desire to enjoy pie without going through the exacting process of baking.

Restaurants predictably ranked as the least popular source of pie (setting aside the, again, wildly eccentric anti-pie contingent), suggesting that further study is required to understand the habits of diners who decide to get dessert.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dominate the pie scene

Unsurprisingly, the most popular occasions for enjoying pie during the winter are the two major tentpoles of the holiday season, Thanksgiving (46%) and Christmas (41%). That makes for an 87% market share between the two of them.

Both of these holidays revolve around food — feasts, actually — to a degree the other occasions do not. New Year’s is more of a raucous scene, of course, typically enjoyed with festive drinks consumed in once-a-year quantities.

Pumpkin rules the holiday season

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the real story here: pumpkin is the undisputed champion of the holiday season.

Pumpkin’s reign begins with Halloween, a celebration centered largely around carving and painting art into and onto its side. Then come the Thanksgiving and Christmas, during which Americans sit down to enjoy pumpkin pie by a margin of almost double its nearest competitor. Meanwhile, our drinks survey revealed that pumpkin spice latte is America’s favorite holiday drink.

Simply put, pumpkin is the most popular food item of the holiday season. Congratulations to this noble gourd.

In our next #TopicOfTheWeek, we will be asking Contributors to tell us their favorite holiday activity. Will it be ice skating? Decoration spotting? Stop by next week to find out.

About Premise Topic of the Week

Each week, Premise is asking our Contributors in the US to complete a short, fun task to earn cash and help us understand American consumer sentiment a little better. To join our community of thousands of Contributors nationwide, click here to download the app and get started. Be sure to check us out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter too!

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