Business is booming at Mrs Mac’s Pies which is currently trialling a new robotic production line, and is also hopeful of entering the Russian market, with a shipment of pies currently on its way to Moscow.
Director of the family business, Rob Macgregor, said the rise of healthy snack foods like wraps and sushi – especially for football fans – has forced the company to innovate.
"Twenty years ago, the only food one would buy at half-time was a pie. But the competition has been good. We now produce pies with less fat and salt and with pastry made from vegetable margarines and shortenings, not animal fats, as was the case for most of last century,” he said.
Since the death of Iain Macgregor in February 2012, Mrs Mac’s has been overseen by Rob and his sister Kate, and their mother Pennie, driving $20 million of capital works and improvement programs including the robotic production line which can pack and stack thousands of pies and sausage rolls in an hour.
"The robots are incredible. This is a labour-intensive business, and it probably always will be, but the speed and precision of our robots takes the pressure off an already busy workforce,” Rob told The West Australian.
Mrs Mac’s makes one million pies a week and more than half a million sausage rolls, and the company has recently developed a BYO line of pies, which aims to take advantage of the rise in on-premise cooking. The pies are sold frozen to petrol stations, pubs and sports clubs, and while this means Mrs Mac’s misses out on a branding opportunity, it’s allowed the company to enter a new market.
As well as its BYO line, Mrs Mac's also offers more than 100 varieties of pies and sausage rolls, a gourmet steak line and a line of low fat pies for school canteens.