The American Pie Council’s APC Pie Championship held this past May in Kissimmee, Florida has been on hiatus since 2019. This year, competition roared back with twenty-four of North America’s very best commercial and independent bakeries, ranging from small, specialty bakeries to internationally recognized brands all submitting a total of 365 pies.
This year, pies were submitted across 30 sweet and savory flavor categories – including hand-held options, no-sugar-added , family, premium and gourmet categories. All 24 participating organizations put forth their very best products, each hoping to win a coveted APC Blue Ribbon.
In 2019, Harlan came home with 19 APC Blue Ribbons, which represented a high-water mark in pie quality and performance. Said Harlan Foods President, Hugh Harlan, “We were hopeful knowing the quality and attention to detail our team puts into our products but winning 19 first place prizes exceeded even our expectations.”
This year, Harlan Foods set an even higher bar, winning an extraordinary twenty-six first place Blue Ribbons, representing a first-place finish for approximately 60% of the pies Harlan submitted.
Said Rick Hoskins, American Pie Council board president and chief executive officer of Colborne Foodbotics. “We couldn’t be happier with this year’s event. Our bakers outdid themselves, to the judges’ delight. There truly is no other gathering for the pie industry that rivals this event. We’ve enjoyed 26 years of competition and of time well spent in our mission to impact and enhance the consumers’ love of this All-American treat.”
At this year’s competition, Harlan’s ribbon count exceeded second place finisher, Sarah Lee by 11 and specialty pie bakery, Jessie Lord Bakery which took home 13 first place ribbons.
Harlan’s Joe Latouf, EVP of Sales and Marketing commented at the awards ceremony, “This year’s competition saw some of the best pies anyone can imagine. The very best in creativity, quality, visual presentation, and taste were all on display from our competitors. Achieving what we did in 2019 would have been terrific but exceeding that performance by such a high margin is both humbling and exciting.”
Latouf continued with, “This is proof positive that Harlan Foods along with our Canadian subsidiary, Apple Valley Foods can deliver the very best pies capable of delighting American families in virtually every category. And that is our sole goal — Delicious delivered.”
Judges’ Blue-Ribbon favorites this year included Harlan Foods’ ‘Bursting with Berries’, ‘Spiced Peach’, ‘White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake’ and ‘Chocolate Bourbon Pecan’ pies.