Greggs has long since been renowned for its sausage rolls and jam doughnuts, but the British bakery chain reinvented itself last year and now customers can select from a healthier range.
The retailer’s introduction of ‘Balanced Choice’ and the addition of flat whites to its coffee selection have boosted sales and helped it to stay relevant in an increasingly health conscious consumer market, rivalling Pret-a-Manger and EAT in the Food-on-the-move sector. Those flat whites pushed Greggs’ hot drinks arm to double digits.
But despite Greggs’ continued sales growth, and an outlook that suggests the full year will be in line with expectations, the rate of that growth slowed at the beginning of 2016 as conditions on the high street became “softer”.
Like-for-like sales rose 3.7% in the first 18 weeks of 2016, compared with a 6% increase this time last year.
The shop refurb programme goes on, with an additional 55 outlets carried out during the period and a total of 200 planned for 2016.
In a trading update on Monday, the FTSE-250 company confirmed it has finished consultation over the closures of three bakeries, which come as part of a proposed £100m investment initiative in its manufacturing and distribution operations.
“Our people impacted by these proposals have demonstrated their commitment and professionalism during a difficult period and our focus now is to work with them individually to ensure that we manage these changes in line with Greggs’ values as a responsible employer,” said Greggs.
“Our hot sandwich range and extended breakfast menu have proved particularly popular…We have extended our fresh fruit offer and have been encouraged by trials of our upgraded range of salads, which are freshly prepared in store and now available nationwide.”
Total sales were up by 5.7% in 2016 so far.