British Baker highlights some of the key take-outs from the Greggs fourth-quarter update today. Where is the company heading and what will its full year results look like?


The company is doing well. Last year at its full year, Greggs’ own store like-for-like sales were +4.5%. On this Q4 update Greggs has posted LFLs of 4.7%. Barring a disaster most commentators suggest it will beat the 2014 figure. Althought Q4 LFLs did slow and it is up against some strong comparatives.


There can be no doubt that Greggs has a plan… and is sticking to it. Or, as the retailer puts it: “The year ahead we will continue with the implementation of our strategic plan to enable the business to compete more effectively in the food-on-the-go market.” When Roger Whiteside was installed as chief executive he retrenched from the bakery roots of the firm, steering it in the food-on-the-go market and it seems to be working. The British public is becoming more and more brand-orientated.


Few would have thought that Greggs, a purveyor famous for its sausage rolls and steak bakes, would make an impact on healthy eating. But it seems to be doing that, thanks to its new Balanced Choice range. The chain says the range, which includes new salads and a ‘no added sugar’ range are selling well.


A few years back the Greggs estate looked on the tired side. Not any more. The company has moved quickly to get its shops to reflect its new food-on-the-go mantra. Think black walls, red spot lights and wooden floors. It would appear the look is resonating with the consumer.


With Allegra Strategies estimating the UK coffee market will be worth a staggering £15bn by 2025, it’s no surprise that Greggs wants a share of that cup. The chain has got off to a great start in the coffee arena, mainly due to its prices. However, in 2016 it looks like the company is set to improve that offer with introduction of a mocha and a flat white. Excuse the pun, but Greggs is certainly full of beans.