Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside has suggested that bread is being phased out in bakeries as consumers turn to supermarkets for their loaves.

This comes as Greggs announced that it could stop selling loaves of bread as it moves to target the ‘food-on-the-go’ trend.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Whiteside said: “It used to be what the business sold back in the 1930s, and bread still features in stores in more residential areas, but it has been declining for seven decades.

“If the trend continues, it will reach a point where it is no longer worth selling. Basically, people buy bread in supermarkets now.”

The bakery chain is enthusiastic to dip into the growing food-to-go market, which it says is worth around £6bn a year, and aims to become a rival with McDonald’s. It already has more outlets than the fast food restaurant at 1,743 and is aiming for more than 2,000.

Bread has already been removed from the shelves of some Greggs outlets and it is being phased out in others as sales fall.

The company was founded from a bakery on Tyneside in the 1930s and the crusty loaf and bloomer have been the backbone of the business ever since.

In its third-quarter trading statement this week Greggs revealed that its Balanced Choice and breakfast products have been popular over the summer months.