The bird flu outbreak has just hit pie lovers where it hurts: Tippin’s in Kansas City, Kan., said Wednesday it had suspended production of its French silk pies because of the shortage of egg products.
Tippin’s produces and ships about 6,000 French silk pies a week, according to a press release. It is the company’s top seller.
“We are currently looking into alternative formulations for our French silk pies, but the ingredients in this pie are very special and not easily replaced,” said Tippin’s president Mark Boyer. “At Tippin’s, we believe that if you are going to change anything, it has to be as good as or better than current.”
Since the avian influenza began spreading a few months ago, farmers have lost 47 million hens and turkeys. The country’s top egg-producing state, Iowa, has been hit the hardest. More than 30 million hens in Iowa have been affected, along with 53,000 in Missouri and 40,000 in Arkansas.
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As a result, egg prices (including liquid eggs) have escalated as egg production has dropped. The shortage has affected everyone from grocers to restaurateurs.
Boyer said Tippin’s would continue to test alternatives, but “if the alternative options aren’t up to par with Tippin’s quality, then it’s back to the kitchen to keep trying.”
Tippin’s has been open since 1980, starting as Tippin’s Restaurant & Pie Pantry, according to its website. It had restaurants in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Tulsa and Dallas that all eventually closed. The company then started its pie-only operation.