Greggs has been declared food-to-go retailer of the year in The Grocer Gold Awards 2017.

Judges praised the business, which has shifted its focus from bakery to food-to-go in recent years, for being “switched on to changing consumer tastes” and for an “impressive transformation of product offer”.

This was the first year The Grocer Gold Awards – the annual ‘Oscars’ of the UK grocery trade - has presented a food-to-go retailer award.

The Grocer, which is owned by British Baker’s publisher William Reed Business Media, said the category had been introduced to recognise the growing importance of food-to-go, and the increasingly blurred lines between food-to-go and grocery. Other finalists in the category were Blakemore Retail, Co-op, Itsu and Morrisons.

Greggs has around 1,800 sites across the UK, and has ambitions to grow its estate to 2,000. Activity by the business has included opening sites “where our customers need us”, in retail parks, shopping centres, industrial estates and office parks – most recently it opened a drive-thru offering in Manchester.

Greggs has also transformed its food offer, shifting away from bakery staples such as bread, in favour of a wider food-to-go offer that includes the Balanced Choice range of freshly prepared salads and market leading, lower-calorie bakes. Breakfast has been the fastest-growing part of the day for the business.

Breakfast meal deals helped drive a 7.5% hike in sales across the business, Greggs reported in a trading update for the 19 weeks to 13 May 2017.

The business is also making big changes to its manufacturing and distribution operations with a string of site closures and conversions.

Greggs’ success was announced at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London last night (14 June), which was hosted by actor and impressionist Rory Bremner, and The Grocer editor Adam Leyland. The award was collected by Greggs’ commercial head Nigel Simpson (pictured).

Greencore took the award for own-label supplier of the year, while Tesco was named The Grocer of the Year and Britain’s Favourite Supermarket.

The full list of The Grocer Gold Awards winners comprises:

  • Brand of the Year -  Fever-Tree
  • Business Initiative of the Year - The Iceland Kitchen, Iceland
  • Consumer Initiative of the Year - Purdey’s
  • Drinks Retailer of the Year - Conviviality Retail
  • Employer of the Year - Aldi
  • UK Entrepreneur of the Year - Barney Mauleverer, FUEL10K
  • Exporter of the Year - Eat Natural
  • Food To Go Retailer of the Year - Greggs
  • Green Initiative of the Year - 50 in 5, Pepsico
  • Independent Retail Chain of the Year - Henderson Retail
  • Logistics Supplier of the Year - Pladis
  • Online Supermarket of the Year - Iceland
  • Own Label Range of the Year - The Best, Morrisons
  • SME Brand of the Year - The Collective
  • Specialist Online Retailer of the Year - HelloFresh
  • Symbol/Franchise Convenience Retailer of the Year - Budgens
  • Technology Supplier of the Year - Shield Safety Group
  • The Grocer of the Year - Tesco
  • Waste Not Want Not Award - Tesco
  • Wholesaler of the Year - Booker
  • Britain’s Favourite Supermarket - Tesco
  • Branded Supplier of the Year - Procter & Gamble
  • Own Label Supplier of the Year - Greencore
  • The Grocer 33 Price Award - Asda
  • The Grocer 33 Customer Service Award - Sainsbury’s
  • The Grocer 33 Availability Award - Sainsbury’s
  • Store Manager of the Year - Dave Curness, Sainsbury’s Redhill, Surrey