Greggs has seen sales of over £1m a week on its healthier range of sandwiches, helped by good weather, the company claimed.
The range consists of 15 products, all containing fewer than 400 calories. Richard Hutton, finance director, said that it was seeing an increased growth in sales of the healthy range, and forecast this as a long term trend.
Before developing the collection further, Hutton said Greggs would let the relaunch settle and evaluate which products were most successful. The next product focus will be on autumn lines including hot sandwiches and new soups.
Hutton said: “People want choice and variety, and we always want to respond in line with this by offering choices that appeal to people’s current buying habits.”
Hutton said healthy flat breads had been well received. Despite this, Greggs’ sausage rolls were still its number one selling product, with sales in excess of £100m a year.
In terms of hot pastry products, the company plans to steer clear of changing the taste and flavour in line with health trends, and instead has looked at offering more choice in portion sizes.
The company has seen its strongest performing areas in non-high street locations, such as travel hubs and forecourts. Shops in urban areas and large city centres were said to be struggling the most.
The retailer will continue to evaluate the location of its shops, and will focus on the West Country and south east for new locations, where it has a smaller presence.
Hutton said the company would progressively relocate surplus shops, many of which were found to be in city centres, and move them to places where people were spending more time. He said: “The nature of the high street is changing and so is what people are using the high street for. We will still add shops in high street areas where we are not represented.
“We will evaluate and look to relocate high street stores in underperforming areas, and decrease those in city centres on a case-by-case basis.”
Hutton also said Greggs would continue to extend opening times, to get more custom from breakfast buyers who may want to pre-purchase their lunch, and to catch commuters who need an evening snack. Two hundred stores now have Sunday opening times.
The company was happy with its focus on food-to-go, which it said proved its focus was the right way to expand.