Did Greggs’ festive and healthy options pay off in 2016?

High street chain and sausage roll maker Greggs has had a strong fourth-quarter of trading, with like-for-like sales over the period rising 6.4 per cent.

For the whole of 2016, like-for-like sales went up by 4.2 per cent and the food retailer said Christmas trading was boosted by festive bake, mince pies and burritos.

Total sales rose seven per cent throughout 2016, boosted by a wider range of healthy eating options such as salads and yoghurts.

Greggs now expects full-year results to come in “slightly ahead” of previous expectations and is preparing to add “hipster” additions to its range such as vanilla latte, Fairtrade green tea and peppermint tea.

READ MORE: Greggs’ healthy options boost sales

Chief executive Roger Whiteside welcomed the results but warned of “industry headwinds” in 2017, such as rising costs.

“We can see already that real income growth is slowing as inflation takes hold in the market, putting pressure on discretionary spending. It’s uncertain how the consumer will respond,” he told the Press Association.

“We’re a value-led brand, so we will resist price increases as much as possible, but we do expect an impact on margins.”

Greggs plans to open around 70 new shops this year and is also trialling a delivery service to cater City workers.

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