It’s not who ate all the pies but how we eat our pies that matters.  With an approval rating even the Prime Minister would envy, 97% of Kiwis not only love their pies but have very strong views on how to eat one of the nation’s favourite foods. And eating styles generate passionate debate the length and breadth of the country.

In research commissioned by piemaker MacKenzie Pies, Kiwis were asked how they eat their pies, with a good old two hand grip the overwhelming preference (55%).  Lagging behind for just over a quarter of Kiwis (27%) is the knife and fork technique.  Outlier techniques include lifting the lid and pouring in the t-sauce, scooping out the filling and then eating the pastry remains – reminiscent of eating the sandwich filling first and then the bread!

It seems that where you hail from probably determines how you approach the task of pie eating.  Gisborne pie eaters are the most likely in the country to use the lid lifting/t-sauce technique (60%) and West Coasters are number one for the two-hand pie grip approach (71%).   Confirming the sanctity of pie eating styles, more than half of West Coasters said they wouldn’t marry someone who ate a pie in a weird way.

Southland pie eaters are tops in not judging weird pie eaters (91%) maybe because they rate highest on the benefits of eating a cold pie (60%), arguing that this adds a whole new experience to pie eating. Their Northland colleagues find a lukewarm pie most distasteful (40%).

Kate Goodwin, Marketing for MacKenzie Pies says the research has been a bit of fun but the passion Kiwis feel for their pies was interesting.  “We know pies are a treasured Kiwi staple and what we now know is pie eating techniques are sacrosanct!”

After reviewing the research, Goodwin says one burning question remains: “Who are the 3% of Kiwis who don’t eat pies?!”


Other interesting stats:

  • The knife and fork approach increases with age – only 12% of 18-24 years olds do this
  • While 13% of Christchurch pie eaters and 16% from Dunedin adopt the lift the lid, scoop out the filling, eat the pastry approach, none of their Southland mates buy into this technique
  • Don’t expect to get a knife and fork to eat your pie in Gisborne – a staggering 100% of them think that’s weird
  • Entrenched views could affect your marriage prospects – more than one in five people aged 55 to 64 and +65 say they wouldn’t marry someone whose pie eating technique differed from theirs
  • Full stats are available on request


The MacKenzie pie range is available at supermarkets and dairies and includes:

  • Bacon, Egg & Hash Pie
  • Steak & Cheese Pie
  • Steak Mushroom & Ale Pie
  • Roast Veggie Pie
  • Mince & Cheese Pie
  • Sausage Roll
  • Chicken Roll
  • Spinach & Cheese Roll




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