It may not be as all-American as apple pie, but for most, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without that other uniquely American treat - pumpkin pie.
But a wet summer and record rainfall in the central United States last year made that traditional dessert a lot harder to come by.
Suffering from three years of bad weather and low yields, canned pumpkin was getting scarce on many supermarket shelves, forcing pie bakers to scramble for the remaining cans, sometimes buying and selling them at inflated prices on eBay or trying to find a substitution for the orange “super food.”
“It’s been a difficult year,” says Evan Lunde, Marketing Manager for Libby’s Pumpkin. Libby’s Pumpkin, owned by Nestlé, grows and processes around ninety-five percent of all the canned pumpkin in the U.S.
But now the good news: this year's harvest was much better.
Grocery stores are starting to see their shelves restocked now, and according to Lunde, should see a steady supply through this upcoming baking season and also throughout the next year.
That should be plenty for the 50 million pumpkin pies that Libby’s estimates are made each year.
But even so, Lunde says he’s still going to hold onto the last few cans from last year’s harvest. “There actually were six cans left. We did hold on to those cans as kind of a memento of the year and we still have those and they are sitting in my office.”
So, by Thanksgiving all should be good. Have a safe Halloween, folks.