After a tricky year in which the company reported a £13.5m loss, made 820 people redundant, and saw many of its stores having to shut during local and national lockdowns, Greggs says it is back on track.
And part of that revitalisation plan is the ongoing vegan-isation of its core range including the launch of a new range of vegan donuts.
The company had initially planned the innovations back in early 2020 but the Covid19 pandemic put pay to that.
Greggs also has plans to become more sustainable as a business and that includes reducing plastic packaging, increasing its healthy food options and having better animal welfare policies.
In an interview with Business Live, chief executive Roger Whiteside said the company would open 100 more new stores, serve more food in the evenings and experiment with drive-in outlets.
I twill also expand on the delivery partnerships it created with Just Eat just before the pandemic. The delivery service also supports Greggs’ long-held desire to take a share of the evening meal market.
“It opens up the evening for us because we close at six o’clock. Two-thirds of demand for delivery is in the evening and we’re not even there, so we’re starting experiments now with opening later so that we can get food to people’s homes when the demand is there. That for us is another growth opportunity,” said Whiteside
As well as the updating of the vegan range the company says it will expand its pizza offering and invest and more coffee machines,
In the interview, the company also gave an update on its charitable work with the Greggs Foundation.
“There’s a separate Greggs Foundation that was set up by Ian Gregg 30 years ago. We’re well known among those who know for our support of people in hardship, things like our Greggs breakfast clubs. But we tend not to publicise that because we don’t want it to be misinterpreted, that we’re only doing it for the brand. We’re doing it because we genuinely think it’s the right thing to do.
“Over the years that whole agenda of trying to be a better business has taken on an importance now which is becoming of interest to investors; they’re interested in how your business operates.
“We responded to that by pulling together everything we’ve done to rate and asking what we can do to stretch ourselves further. That led to our sustainability report – we need to tell the world what we’re doing and be held to account for it.”