Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Fray Bentos Pies

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Chez Manley, Friday is Fray-day as we celebrate the joy that is the Fray Bentos pie.



It is only as relatively recently as recently that I discovered that Fray Bentos was not named after a brace of culinary geniuses who I had presumed were named Messrs Bentos and Fray. No, gentle reader, it is in fact a small town of 25000 in South West Uruguay, close to the Argentine border.

The town appears to have pretty much always produced processed meat in one way or another and the site of the Liebig Extract of Meat Company (which was responsible for such meaty goodness as Oxo) now boasts a rather smashing museum, presumably dedicated to the mighty Fray Bentos Pie.

Personally I have always favoured the Fray Bentos Steak and Kidney Pudding, but the family Manley grows and, with it, the menu must adapt to meat [sic] every palette. Now Fray-days can stretch beyond steak and kidney, through to such delights as the Fray Bentos Mince Beef and Onion Pie (as recalled in late 2008 for containing shards of metal) or even the god-awful mushroom one.

So, I knew that Fray Bentos was owned by Premier Foods (The UK's largest manufacturer of foodstuffs), and I was not overly surprised to learn that, thanks largely to the UK market, last year the Fray Bentos brand was worth around £30million, but I am shocked to learn that, despite the huge success of the little pies from South America's cattle country (Fray Bentos Pies command a 94.6% market share), Premier Foods intend to change the Fray Bentos brand.

One of the positives from this is a Tender 'Just Steak' Fray Bentos Pie offering, which I welcome, but there is a massive downside.

"all recipes across the entire range have been improved, with a 20% reduction of salt per pie and no artificial colours and flavourings"

Why ruin my Fray Bentos Pie? I love it just the way it is. Oh, and there is more. . .



Why, PF, why? Why destroy the Fray Bentos Pie brand? You know it is successful, why ruin it?

Rob Stacey, who is something to do with Marketing at Fray Bentos pies, apparantly has been saying that: “The evolution of the Fray Bentos pie has led to the perfect recipes being created. These new modern recipes will attract sales from a wider consumer base without losing our original following of “Great British Blokes”. Premier Foods and Fray Bentos are making it our priority to create the ultimate pie and hot canned meal which can be eaten by any family, couple, or student.”

Well Rob Stacey, I say that you are a tit. Fray Bentos Pies were perfect, you are just going to wreck them and the “Great British Blokes” really are not a real persona to target, After all, the “Great British Blokes” are generally not going to be doing the shopping anyway, so you need to be targeting the “Beaten British Wife”, you bell-end.

I mean, really. Fray Bentos Pies are and almost saturation brand, utterly in control of their market, and they go and pull a stunt like this. I suppose that every Marketing Manager wants to put their stamp on a brand, but let's not stamp on the brand, eh?

I'll leave you with the complaints of Tricia, who feels that the new Fray Bentos Pie tine are too thick and even goes as far as questioning whether the new recipe is worth the extra effort needed to get to it.

Fridays may become fry-days at this rate, Fray Bentos. Don't forget your user base. I seriously believe that, in an economic climate which should benefit the Fray Bentos Pie, you may just have made a blunder which simply removes your product from the eyes of the consumer and opens the floor to a new pretender.

Then where will Uraguay be, eh? Apart, obviously, from in South America.

43 comments:

impossible songs said...

Wow, you like your pies and frankly I like pies to.

Anonymous said...

can you suggest a can opener for said pie its costing me in broken can openers

Lord Manley said...

Butterfly can openers are useless, they break almost straight away.

I have a few Army can openers which are similar to the link, but UK ones. These are absolutely fantastic.

These Ratchet and Snap lock ones are meant to be good, but I cannot say for certain.

I also have a chrome designer can opener which opens wide like a pair of nutcrackers.

I think that an opener which leaves the ridge on the can, rather than removing it with the lid, is best (so one which cuts vertically, not horizontally) as this will make serving easier.

Anonymous said...

IPLEASE CAN YOU MAKE YOUR PIES EASER TO OPEN BECAUSE I HAVE TRIED EVERY TYPE OF CAN OPENERS AVALIBLE, BUT BY THE TIME I HAVE FINISHED POENING IT I DONT FANCY IT ANYMORE. THANK YOU IT WOULD BE LOVELY TO BE ABLE TO OPEN IT WITH NO FIGHTING WITH THE CAN.

david said...

Always been a goblin puddings man, myself.

amoebaboy said...

i have heard a few stories of the legendary fray bentos, the best one aparentley you can cook them to perfection on a hot exhaust manifold in certain trucks, it takes about a hundred miles or so.

Anonymous said...

I have just cut my ruddy hand on a Fray Bentos pie tin. After 20 minutes and using 3 types of tin opener I finally got some cuts in the tin but couldn't cut every bit of metal so had to prise the thing apart bit by bit and move the bits backwards and forwards until the metal fractured. An hour later, not fancying the pie any more, with a cut hand and having shouted at the cat for trying to get at the juices spilling all over the place I shan't be bothering again until the tin is redesigned. I remember having these as a child and they were never this much trouble to get into. What about one of those ring pull lids that a lot of cans have now? Anything has to be better than this.

Kate, Croydon.

Lord said...

I appreciate your distress at this experience, but I fear your ire may be misdirected, Katherine.

Many modern manufacturers of tin openers are producing poor quality products (indeed many butterfly openers do not even open a can) but I assume that you have had success with your device on other cans, so I can only suggest that you man up a bit.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

My 3 variously designed tin openers work on every other tin I've tried them with, I think that speaks volumes.

Ooh and I'm not a Katherine any more than I suggest you are a Lord. ;-)

Kate, not Katherine, Croydon.

Anonymous said...

Yes,
I too am (was) very partial to a Fray Bentos Pie. However, I stopped buying them about 2 Yrs.ago as short of using Plastic Explosive, it is impossible to open the dammed tin. I have tried all kinds of openers, Top Cutters, Side Cutters and the Boy Scout "Stab & Lever" type (even a Boy Scout with a Swiss Army knife). Cheap or expensive it makes little difference.On the odd ocassion and 10-15 Mins later, when I have been partially succesful the contents covered in metal filings, blood and bone (mine), the whole "Pie" appeal has been lost and I am, pehaps, more in need of a blood transfusion but usually just settle for Cheese on Toast !
It had occurred to me just to bung the whole tin in the Microwave, evacuate the kitchen and perhaps, even the house ! However, as this tin seems to be "Bomb Proof", I doubt this would work either. Something about, "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off " springs to mind ?

Anonymous said...

Moi aussi - spent 20 minutes trying to get the damn lid off, then to end up with metal filings to clean away. I have tried all the usual types of can opener and now I am looking for the Fray Bentos website to register my disappointment. They need to carry a health and safety warning.

stace said...

I aloud my husband to buy a couple of fray bentos pies the other day after it took him three days to persuade me to aloue him after the last time we got them as it bust 4 tin openers and my toe cos and it still took an hour and a half to get into them. It's just taking me and my husband, 4 tin openers n 5 phone calls to people to see if they had any ideas how to open them short of using a grinder or chainsaw a have no idea and they are now band from my house and my children aren't aloued in anyone's kitchen whilest people are opening them for that reason. PUT PULLER RINGS ON THEM.

SIAN said...

OMG I NEARLY CUT MY FINGER OFF AN WASTED A PIE, THREW IT IN THE BIN INSTEAD. WUDNT MIND BUT THEY ARE EXPENSIVE!! IM NOW ON THE SECOND PIE, HAVE BEEN GOING AT IT FOR 10 MINS AN TO BE HONEST IVE HAD ENUF!!!!!!!!! PATHETIC, MY KIDS WILL STARVE TO DEATH BY THE TIME I GET IT OPEN IF I HAVE ANY FINGERS LEFT

SIAN said...

JUST GOT IN2 MY PIE, WHOOOOO HOOOOO, HAMMER AND A KNIFE! I THINK THE PIES SHUD COME WIV A HAMMER N KNIFE THEN!! I FOR 1 WILL NEVER BUY THEM AGAIN

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Fray Bentos read these comments.Even if they do, they probabley don't care anyway. They just want to sell a "tin". Whether or not you can eat the contents, perhaps does not matter to them.I'm the guy who suggested plastic explosive.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, just further to my comment, Re Fray Bentos reading these comments - It is a bit late for me, as I have no fingers left.I am typing this with my Big Toe, so excuse thu tipin misstacs.Q@:zq#~b$ furkin b0lucS.

Rick said...

I cannot get in the tin to save my life, the pie looked so good and i was starving - i had to eat peanuts instead.

Anonymous said...

Put some more meat in the damn things i love the pies but i just had one and it was all crust and not mean im very unhappy....

Anonymous said...

I think they should come with a free set of boltcutters, a 14inch angle grinder and a chainsaw

@LordManley said...

Mm! Chainsaws and Fray Bentos Pie. Two of my favourite things :)

Machael said...

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Anonymous said...

just found a great way to get tin open a bloody hachsaw works every time pie dont look so great now though

Anonymous said...

They are easy to open, but the steak and kidney one is crap.

Anonymous said...

I have found the perfect CanOpener for these delectable pies. It is made by Maxwell@Williams. Bought one yesterday, and it works!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To test it further, I have just opened another FB Pie because my Partner is poorly and just wants one of these pies as comfort food.
Yup, it STILL did the job. I hope that this is not a short term thing, but I enjoy the fact that it works for me at the moment.Good Luck to you FB fans. I hope that this helps.

Anonymous said...

To test it further, I have just opened another FB Pie because my Partner is poorly and just wants one of these pies as comfort food.
Yup, it STILL did the job. I hope that this is not a short term thing, but I enjoy the fact that it works for me at the moment.Good Luck to you FB fans. I hope that this helps.

Anonymous said...

Why Is there "SO LITTLE MEAT" in the new Fray Bentos Pies??? does anybody know!! Mike.

Anonymous said...

are fray bentos pies gettin smaller or is it just me

Anonymous said...

I adore the steak and kidney FB ever since I was a wean. With spicy thin chips (fries for you weird north Americans) and baked beans yes! As the for matter of opening the tins, it's never been too hard to open if you use some elbow grease and the thought of someone you'd like to stab. But in recent times I have noticed there is more pastry than meat and the meat does this weird slidy stuff in the tin. Yecch. Bring back ye olde formula!

Anonymous said...

WHAT THE FUCKING HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING??? WHOEVER THE DUMB ASS CUNTING PRICK WAS WHO DESIGNED THE FUCKING TIN... NEEDS FUCKING SACKING.

I DO NOT EXPECT TO HAVE TO BATTLE FOR 10 FUCKING CUNTING DECADES TO OPEN THE TIN FOR MY TEA.

I SUGGEST THE FUCKING BRIGHT SPARK TWAT WHO DESIGNED THE TIN SHOULD GET TOGETHER WITH THE INTELLIGENT PERSON WHO INVENTED "THE RING PULL" (AN INGENIUS LITTLE DEVICE THAT ENABLES ACCESS TO THE FOOD INSIDE THE TIN EASILY AND WITHOUT FEAR OF DYING OF OLD AGE OR SLASHING YOUR HAND OPEN) AND APPLY IT TO YOUR FUCKING ROTTEN CUNTING BASTARD RANK PIES.

A FEW WORDS FOR YOU TO PONDER ON IN THE MEANTIME (WHILE YOU ADJUST YOUR FUCKING DESIGN)... YOU ARE A BUNCH OF FUCKING IBESILLIC, BRAINLESS FUCKING CUNTS!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the pie now took less than 1 minute to open it.
I suggest you fuckers actually put some effort into opening it and not waiting for your mother to come around open it, cook it and then feed you.

Softcocks.

Anonymous said...

i think its about time you made a veg pie.

Anonymous said...

I think its about time you made a vag pie

Anonymous said...

PLEASE MAKE FRAY BENTOS PIE TINS EASIER TO OPEN.

Anonymous said...

It takes me ages to open the tin as well

Diane Lester said...

does anyone think they have ruined the goblin pudding? the new one in the plastic tub doesnt have the same soft pudding as the old ones. not the same taste at all.

Anonymous said...

I've just e mailed Baxter's to complain about how difficult it is to get into the tins. I think a ring pull is a good idea as others have said.

I've broken 3 tin openers so far.

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed ur pies but was very disappointed when I opened a tin steak n kidney and there was only one piece of steak in it hoping the others I have have some filling in them

Mela said...

Hi, I'm from Uruguay. It's ironic but it's very unusual to eat corned beef here. Greetings and I leave URUGUAY information so you know where we are! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay

Anonymous said...

PLease ,please where can we puchase these pies.I want some...........I'm in Canada
We used to get them under the name of Smedleys Steak and Kidney pies..they are no longer..so I imagine FB bought them out.But cannot find them in Canada.

Anonymous said...



SUCH NASTY LANGUAGE !!!!

SHAME ON YOU !!!!!!!!!!!

Marie McLean said...

I'm so glad I'm not alone. I am a very even tempered person until I try to open one of these damn tins.

Marie McLean said...

I'm so glad I'm not alone. I am a very even tempered person until I try to open one of these damn tins.