Who shrank all the pies? Greggs downsizes and puts prices up


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The Independent Online

Britain's biggest bakery chain has reduced the size of several savouries while puffing up prices months after forcing the Government to back down over the “pasty tax”.

The baker’s own nutritional information reveals five per cent cuts to pasties and pizzas, a 15 per cent drop in the size of its steak bake, and 18 per cent reductions affecting breakfast bacon rolls.

Prices, meanwhile, have risen like a budget soufflé. The chain, which has more than 1,600 outlets, admitted on its website to price hikes in response to food inflation.

Research last year by Which? found that shrinking food without commensurate price drops had affected hundreds of products, including Branston pickle and Kellogg's Coco Pops.

Greggs former chief executive Ken McMeikan lobbied the Government last March after Chancellor George Osborne’s budget included proposals for a 20 per cent rate of VAT on hot baked snacks.

The response from the industry and pasty consumers forced the Coalition into a U-turn in May, leading shares in Greggs, which had a turnover of more than £700m last year, to increase by 6 per cent.

A spokeswoman for Greggs told The Grocer magazine: “Where changes in weight occur, this is normally the result of improvements.. such as reducing fat, salt and/or sugar.”

Customers will be relieved to discover that size of the chain’s signature sausage rolls has not changed.