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Bye bye, filling for pumpkin pie

Jennifer Collins Nov 18, 2009
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Bye bye, filling for pumpkin pie

Jennifer Collins Nov 18, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: OK, back to dessert now. This holiday season could see a shortage of one particular staple: pumpkin pie, as Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins tells us.


Jennifer Collins: The harvest was already looking meager this year. But yesterday, Nestle announced that rain in the Midwest destroyed much of the remaining pumpkins.

Nestle controls 85 percent of that crop for canning. It shows up in grocery stores under the Libby’s label. Food Marketer Al Hamman says grocery stores will need to be creative when advertising this traditional holiday meal.

Al Hamman: It’s certainly one of the things that you think of that you have to have for a Thanksgiving dinner, but it could be good news for cherry pies and pecan pies.

Industry analyst Harry Balzer of NPD Group says pumpkin is the second most popular pie consumed in America — that’s all because of Thanksgiving.

Harry Balzer: There will still be pumpkin on that table. There may be less of it, the slice may be smaller, but very hard to change tradition in this country.

The LA Times reports supermarkets have no plans to raise prices, and groceries say they have enough to get through Thankgiving. But after that, if Nestle runs out, it won’t have any more of that canned puree until August.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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