Thursday 9 July 2015

Open Letter to Tesco - Sausage Rolls are NOT pies

Unfortunately it appears Tesco are mis-labelling their sausage rolls as pies in their Dumfries store.

The offending sign in Tesco Dumfries
It is not simply a case of accidentally putting a packet of sausage rolls on the pie stand - which we realise a customer (rather than staff) could have done.

No - Tesco have put a giant "Fresh Pies" sign directly above an image of two sausage rolls, clearly advocating that they deem sausage rolls to be pies. Cue the...

Open letter to Tesco

I have to admit it takes a lot to shock us aboard the Pierate Ship these days. Pies - our passion and dedication for over five and a half years now - have a tough press. People often mis-label many things as pies - the shepherds pie (which should be a shepherds potato bake), pumpkin pie (which is really a tart), even whole pizzas are called pies in America!

And yet in all my days of pie rating for the web's leading pie reviewing website ( - which it might be worth pointing out is the number one hit when you Google "Tesco pie review" - and in fact in the 20+ years beforehand growing up, I have NEVER... EVER... seen a sausage roll called a pie before!

May I just take this opportunity to remind you that we run and not "ratemyroll" or any such thing. We have a readership of over 10,000 readers a month at present and they want to read our PIE reviews, not sausage roll reviews. Similarly, when they shop in a Tesco store, if they want to buy a pie, they want a pie - not a sausage roll.

I'm sure this error will be rectified immediately at the Dumfries Tesco store at which the error was made - and will also be checked at other Tesco stores nationwide to ensure that the same error has not been replicated across the country. Sure, to many of your customers the mis-labelling of a sausage roll as a pie won't be even generate the batting of an eyelid. And for sure it did not ruin our holiday to Scotland last week - just taint it with confusion and bafflement. But I am sure you will understand that we want to promote pies as much as we can and a sausage roll is NOT a pie! Let's face it - it's not called a "Sausage Pie", is it!!!

To help you out here, our Pierate Pie Dictionary clearly states what a true pie actually is:- filling fully encased in pastry with clearly defined base, sides and lid. A sausage roll does not meet these stringent criteria and never in all my days have I heard someone refer to a sausage roll as a pie before. Of course you are probably aware of our campaign to change pie pub provision, but the selling of top-crust pies has been significantly trumped by this outrageous claim that a sausage roll is a pie! Even the British Pie Awards - who have a far more liberal definition of a pie than us (they have a pasty category, for example) would not consider a sausage roll to be a pie!

As I bring this letter to a conclusion, I hope this has been useful to explain the issues surrounding the mis-labelling of food (we only need to mention "Horsemeat" to kick that off again) and will lead to a correction in your store's advertising. I am happy to speak to you further if you wish to - just email to arrange this.

Yours in pie,

Pierateer RAS

I am pleased to say that following this incident in Tesco Dumfries we can confirm that both Sainsburys and Greggs do know what a sausage roll looks like and label them correctly.

Sainsbury's sausage rolls

Gregg's sausage rolls

Feedback from Tesco on Twitter (updated as provided)

We helpfully pointed out to Tesco that they are mis-labelling their products and have received the following replies to date:

Slightly later in the day Tesco had a chance to speak to the Dumfries Store Manager and then had this to report:

We hope that Tesco might be able to send us a photo of the new pie poster when it takes "pie-de" of place in their pie aisle, and we've sent them a request to do so. We will update you with any news!


We have actually eaten a lot of genuine pies (not sausage rolls) which can be seen in our Pierate Pie Rankings or you can click here for all PIE reviews categorised by shop or flavour.

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