Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pork pies are among the most recognised Geographic Indication (GI) products.

The traditional Cornish pastry topped a table of more than 70 GI products in the UK, according to research by public relations agency Brand Dialogue.

Of the 500 UK adults surveyed for the report, 87% were familiar with Cornish pasties and more than half were aware that they are protected by PGI status.  

A geographical indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation due to that origin. Types of protection status include:

  • Protected geographical indication (PGI): A product must be produced, processed or prepared in the geographical area it is associated with. (Cornish pasties, for example, can be baked elsewhere, but must be prepared in Cornwall to be called Cornish.)
  • Protected designation of origin (PDO): A product must be produced, processed and prepared in one area and have distinct characteristics from this area. PDOs differ from PGIs in that all three production stages must take place in the area associated with the product.

The Brand Dialogue report highlighted the work carried out by the Cornish Pasty Association to raise awareness of the Cornish pasty’s PGI status.

“These results confirm what the association has known for a long time – that people all over the country love a genuine Cornish pasty and understand what makes it distinctive – but we’ve never seen this quantified so clearly before,” said Cornish Pasty Association chair Jason Jobling.

“We are a relatively small, not-for-profit organisation driven by our members and it’s terrific to see in black and white the impact their hard work has had on the Cornish pasty’s reputation, which can only be good for our industry and the wider Cornish economy.”

Melton Mowbray pork pies, which also have PGI status, were fourth on table of top UK GI products (see below).

Brand Dialogue said the attributes associated with GIs were “overwhelmingly positive”, highlighting that premium quality and authenticity were most frequently associated with these products.  Superior taste and high production standards also featured strongly.

The top 10 most recognised UK GI products are:

  1. Cornish Pasty
  2. Jersey Royal Potatoes
  3. Scotch Whisky
  4. Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
  5. Stilton Cheese
  6. Cumberland Sausage
  7. Cornish Clotted Cream
  8. Welsh Lamb
  9. Harris Tweed
  10. Scotch Beef