Iconic Dickinson and Morris Melton Mowbray pork pies have now got a chunkier filling and are being sold in revamped and more environmentally-friendly packaging in the biggest overhaul of the iconic brand in over a decade.
The company, which is owned by Samworth Brothers, say the changes were made to its pies as a result of a combination of customer feedback and a need to modernise the product, which is sold in their Nottingham Street Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe and various supermarkets.
They now have chunkier cuts of prime British pork and a richer, crisper pastry, the logo has been given a fresh new look and plastic trays and flow wraps have been removed from the two-snack product and the box of six mini pies in a bid to secure an even bigger slice of the annual £53million Melton pork pie market.
Managing director, Stephen Hallam, told the Melton Times: “What has happened is other companies have caught up and so we have decided to enrich the recipe of our pies and change the packaging.
“Now when you sink your teeth into one of our Melton Mowbray pork pies you will find that it is more gutsier and chunkier than before.
“Melton pies have to use British prime pork and we’ve now increased the proportion of the meat to 49 per cent of the pie.
“People who have tried the new pies hve told us ‘we didn’t think you could improve the taste of them but you have’.”
Customers will notice a major change in the way the Dickinson and Morris pies look on the shelf although the red and blue colouring has been retained.
The new boxes also showcase the origins of the business with Mary Dickinson, considered to be the originator of traditional hand-raised Melton pork pie, her grandson, John, who established the first Melton bakery in 1851, and his apprentice, Joseph Morris, who was saved from the local workhouse and went on to become an integral member of the company.
Mr Hallam said: “We’ve changed the logo which has been used for nearly 10 years and using boxes in the repackaging allows us to tell this wonderful story behind how the business was founded.
“We’ve taken the plastic trays out and although there is a small piece of plastic in the window of the box there is nowhere near the same amount of plastic in the packaging now.
“We would like the boxes to be totally plastic-free eventually when we can find a suitable material to use in the window.”
It has already been a memorable year for the Samworth Brothers-owned Dickinson and Morris with the company’s large 454g Melton pork pie winning its class at the British Pie Awards after scoring a remarkable 99 marks out of 100.
There could be challenges on the horizon, however, with the UK set to leave the EU this year and leading to the loss of the Melton pork pie’s protected PGI status, which demands that the product is made to a specific recipe and within a small radius of the town.
The government has already pledged to protect the integrity of it and other protected UK foods after Brexit, though, with a scheme to be set up mirroring the EU one but relating just to this country.
Mr Hallam added: “We’ve had this protection for 10 years through the EU and it took us 11 years to get it.
“There are very few businesses selling Melton Mowbray pork pies in Europe and I am confident that when this new scheme starts after Brexit we will continue to have the protection we want for our product in the UK.”