There is no denying that Libby’s dominates the canned pumpkin scene, but there is an Upstate New York Player with a considerably cooler looking label you may have noticed while shopping at Tops Markets.
Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin
I happened upon Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin while shopping at Tops Friendly Markets recently, being significantly closer to Rochester than Buffalo, I had never heard of Lake Shore Pumpkin, but could not resist the label and when I picked up a can of the pumpkin to further check out the colorful imagery, I happened to notice this is actually a regional product, with roots in Buffalo. So I promptly threw two cans of pumpkin in my cart with plans to research the pumpkin packed in the can with the odd little label later that night.
I was hoping to find a company or brand history as unique as the label the solid pack pumpkin sports, but that wasn’t to be, this is instead what I could find out:
Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin is distributed by NTC Marketing which is based out of Williamsville, New York. After a lot of confusing research here is what I learned about NTC Marketing and Lake Shore Pumpkin:
- NTC Marketing owns the Tropical Fruit Libby’s Brand, based out of Buffalo they specialize in pineapple, and other canned tropical fruits.
- Libby’s Pumpkin and Libby’s Tropical Fruits are not the same!
- Yes, there is a connection to Libby’s Pumpkin products, but it goes WAY back. Libby’s was founded as Libby, McNeill & Libby in Chicago, Illinois, by Archibald McNeill and the brothers Arthur and Charles Libby in 1875. Over the years the original company was divided and acquired by multiple other companies. Libby, McNeill & Libby was acquired by Nestlé in 1976, and Nestlé still holds the trademark and licensing for Libby’s brand pumpkin. NTC Marketing acquired Libby’s licenses for pineapple and tropical fruits in 1983 and juices in 2009.
As for the Lake Shore Pumpkin despite being manufactured or distributed by a Marketing Company, I can find no website, brand history, or even mention of the product on NTC’s main website which is listed on the can of pumpkin.
Google did turn up a couple of interesting results though, a site called Trademarkia, where users had left glowing reviews reading ” Trust me LAKE SHORE PUMPKIN IS the BEST!!!!” and “My family swears by the Lakeshore brand canned pumpkin for our families holiday pies”. On another site, a user shared the recipe on the back of the Lake Shore Pumpkin Pie Recipe, which also was highly praised.
Like Grandma Brown’s the can Lake Shore Pumpkin Can is easy to spot on grocery store shelves. The vintage look of the label seems to fly in the face of the general trend to design labels using principles of psychology, target market research and demographic data.
There is a little man or Dutch boy?? in nothing more than an apron (if you look closely you can see a sliver of his backside) standing on a stump, stirring a giant pumpkin kettle of what we can assume to be pumpkin puree adorning the label of Lake Shore pumpkin. Honestly, I have no idea what is going on in this odd little cooking scene on the label, but I love it for all its kitschy-nostalgic-ness.
On the back side of the label is the recipe for the pumpkin pie I mentioned earlier. I don’t usually ever share recipes I haven’t made myself at least once, but because it is one week until Thanksgiving, I am going to hold out and bake this when I bake the rest of my pies. I will update with photos and my own observations after Turkey Day!
Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin Pie
- 4 eggs
- 29 ounces Lake Shore solid pack pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups milk
- 2 9-inch pie crusts
Mix well beaten eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices. Add milk and stir until mixture is smooth.
Line two 9-inch pie pans with pastry.
Pour filling into the pastry shells, dividing it equally.
Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees) about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.
I would really love to learn more about Lake Shore Pumpkin! Do you use Lake Shore Solid Pack Pumpkin, do you have any memories of holiday baking with it?