Meat- and Fish Alternatives

The Vegan Sausage Roll Phenomenon, How it Changed the Game For Greggs, and Who Followed

Greggs today reports a 17% increase in total sales for Q1 2023 compared to the same period last year, stating that its discount offerings, including vegan products such as the Mexican Chicken-Free Bake launched just last month, are set to maintain the sales growth across the rest of the year.

This year so far has seen the introduction of several vegan sausage roll products, including a new SKU from Gosh! which launches into Tesco on the 29th of this month as described below. But the OG was, of course, the Quorn-filled roll from Greggs back in 2019, which famously sent sales soaring above £1bn for the first time for the company, whose market value rose to over £2bn, thanks in part to a flurry of press activity.

Greggs sausage roll on cushion
© Greggs

Then-CEO Roger Whiteside said, “Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll. More people are coming. Awareness of the brand has never been higher and the vegan roll has helped with publicity and encouraging people to come and have a look at what we’re doing.”


The vegan sausage roll, it is fair to say, changed the game for Greggs, which realised the massive potential for such products upon seeing the public queueing around the streets of the UK and the product selling out around the country. Greggs went on to reward 25,000 staff with a £7M bonus amounting to around £300 per worker due to the huge success.

Countless vegan products from the high street discount bakery chain followed and continue to be launched on a regular basis. It could be argued that this phenomenal success brought vegan products to UK mainstream retail for the first time as well as raising the profile of veganism and bringing awareness of the movement to the masses.

Sainsbury's sausage rolls
© Sainsbury’s

Who came next?

In the four years that have followed, countless retailers and food producers have launched similar products. Supermarket own-brand vegan sausage rolls include: M&S Plant Kitchen; Morrisons Plant Revolution; Tesco Plant Chef; Coop Gro; Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers; and Asda OMV!

UK brands now offering a plant-based version of the snacking favourite include: Pukka; Higgidy; Linda McCartney; Walls; and of course Quorn. As we recently reported, two plant-based brands launched similar products both in April of this year; Clive’s Purely Plants (previously Clive’s Pies) sausage-rolled theirs into Waitrose while Squeaky Bean’s are now available at Sainsbury’s.

Gosh! Veggie Sausage ROLLS
© Gosh!

“A nation of snackers”

The newest in the list comes from plant-based brand Gosh! whose new Mini Veggie Sausage Rolls will be available in Tesco stores from 29th May with an RRP of £3.10 for six mini rolls. Gosh! describes the new product as a 100% natural plant-based sausage with sage and black pepper, encased in a light pastry, with no artificial ingredients or added sugar.

Caroline Hughes, Head of Marketing at Gosh!, says: “We’re a nation of snackers, and at Gosh! our mission is to get the country’s taste buds tingling with goodness. Our new ready to eat Mini Veggie Sausage Rolls are stuffed full of veg-based goodness and are our plant-based take on one of the nation’s favourite snacks – a mouth-watering sausage filling simply made with vegetables, pulses and our signature blend of herbs and spices wrapped in a delicious flaky pastry. With more flavours set to join the range later this summer, they make a fantastic snack for anyone whether you’re a committed veggie or enjoying a flexitarian lifestyle!”

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