Greggs launches first ‘healthier shop’

A new Greggs shop in a hospital in the Midlands is focusing on soups and salads rather than the traditional Greggs fare.

In a move away from its traditional image of pastries and cakes, the high street bakery chain has switched its focus to lower-calorie foods and has cut down on products that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

The entrance to the shop in New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, features a fresh fruit display.

Sausage rolls, doughnuts and bacon rolls are still available in the outlet, however.

Designed to meet NHS England’s latest targets on food sold in hospitals, the new Greggs offers a range centred around its Balanced Choice products, which all contain fewer than 400 calories.

Launched in 2014, Balanced Choice includes “a wide selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps, salads, yoghurts, delicious hot soups, porridge pots and freshly baked savouries”, according to the company.

A Greggs spokesperson told British Baker it had “spoken openly about how the national obesity issue is a shared responsibility” and that it was “committed to helping people manage their fat, salt and sugar intake”.

It added it had taken steps to improve the nutritional value of Greggs’ products and encourage customers to make healthier choices.

As well as the Balanced Choice products, it has reduced the salt in its classic snacks and introduced gluten-free options.

Looking ahead, Greggs said it would continue to extend its Balanced Choice range and gluten-free meals this year and “reformulate” its sweet treats in line with Public Health England’s year one sugar reduction target of 5%.

Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs, said in a statement: “We have been busy developing a healthier shop format at New Cross Hospital to meet NHS England targets on healthy checkouts, food advertising and price promotions in hospitals and are proud to have to achieved joint second place in a league table compiled by health campaigners, which ranks high-street brands in order of how well they meet these guidelines.

“With ambitions to grow to over 2,000 shops nationwide and ownership of our supply chain, we are in a unique position to have real impact in encouraging people to make healthier food-on-the-go choices with convenient access at outstanding value.”

David Loughton, CEO of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (which runs the hospital), added: “It is important that patients, visitors and staff have a variety of choice when it comes to the food they wish to eat and, in a hospital setting, it is important that there are a number of healthy options on offer.”

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