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Vegan sausage roll gave Greggs ‘exceptional’ sales boost in early 2019

The meat-free product provoked a huge reaction when it was launched, with Piers Morgan leading the backlash

Caitlin Morrison
Tuesday 19 February 2019 10:34 GMT
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Piers Morgan spits out vegan sausage roll live on Good Morning Britain

Greggs has hailed “exceptional sales” of its vegan sausage roll for boosting trade at the beginning of 2019.

The bakery chain launched the product in early January, and said on Tuesday that customer transaction numbers increased in the first seven weeks of the year, with the bulk of sales coming from “savoury products such as the vegan-friendly sausage roll”.

The company said it had recorded an “exceptional sales performance boosted by publicity” linked to its newest vegan product.

The meat-free snack, developed with a vegetable oil-based pastry and a “bespoke Quorn filling”, was initially made available in 950 stores.

The product provoked a huge reaction online, with many social media users welcoming the news – although there were a few notable exceptions, including Piers Morgan.

The Good Morning Britain host claimed the vegan snack made him feel sick and mocked it on Twitter, commenting: “Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns.”

Greggs announced last week that the vegan sausage roll would be rolled out to all of its 1,950 branches.

Shares in Greggs rose 7 per cent after it published its trading update on Tuesday.

“The new vegan sausage roll has helped bring home the bacon for Greggs, prompting a spike in sales at the start of this year,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf. “The company has therefore upgraded its profit expectations for the coming year, and that’s sent the share price up sharply.”

“It’s unclear how much of the boom can be attributed to sales of actual vegan rolls rather than simply the publicity associated with the launch. However catering for vegan diets is now rising up the priority list for many food retailers, with M&S recently launching its new vegan range, Plant Kitchen.

“This isn’t just a flash in the pan for Greggs either, it builds on strong performance last year, and demonstrates it’s still possible for bricks and mortar retailers to earn a crust on the UK high street.”

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