Greggs has started to roll out ideas it has been trialling at four stores around the UK, following some "quite encouraging" results.
The bakery chain, which has 1,353 UK sites, announced last March that it would pilot innovative formats and ranges, including extended opening hours, range changes and new branding, at selected sites.
MD Sir Michael Darrington told British Baker that "more extensive tests of certain aspects of the trial stores" were under way. He said: "Greggs remains focused on the mainstream market. It is not an exclusive business, but even in the mainstream market people’s tastes change and there is demand for some more aspirational lines, such as gourmet fillings, hot sandwiches and different types of savouries."
Trials would continue and the company will give more details when it announces its annual results next March, he added.
Some of the initiatives being trialled can be seen at an upmarket Greggs shop in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, which has an outdoor seating area and sells gourmet-style products.The range at the shop includes crayfish and rocket baguette, duck and hoi sin sauce wrap and pesto and chicken baguette with sun-dried tomatoes, as well as the regular Greggs range of sandwiches, savouries and cakes.
The outlet is also offering cappuccino, latte and espresso, as well as tea and hot chocolate.
One of Greggs’ other experiments is a ’Fresh to Go’ branded shop with healthy eating ranges, which opened in Lincoln in March.