The UK’s largest bakery chain launched its Vegan Sausage Roll this Veganuary, to huge media coverage, which has helped to propel its shares to an all-time high. Now Greggs have revealed that the trial was so successful that they plan to roll out the product across all of their stores.
The Vegan Sausage Roll is not Greggs’ first vegan product – the Mexican Bean Wrap was launched earlier in 2018, which won an award from PETA, but didn’t particularly impact on the Greggs customer base.
Helpfully, although unintentionally, anti-vegan TV presenter Piers Morgan whipped up a social media frenzy the day before the Vegan Sausage Roll launch, when he tweeted: “Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns.” The social media team at Greggs, poised and ready for the predicted backlash, instantly replied: “Oh hello Piers, we’ve been expecting you.”
Clearly, the marketing team at Greggs were prepared. This outburst from Mr Morgan has been effectively used to elevate the social media presence that modern-day marketing dreams of; a witty and sharp response to a thoughtless tweet from a well-known conservative daytime TV presenter.
And Morgan was wrong. The move from Greggs was in response to a petition from PETA who delivered a petition of 20,000 signatures from people wanting a vegan alternative to Greggs’ best-selling item. Greggs saw this potential and seized the opportunity to launch its new product in January 2019, knowing that Veganuary was going to explode this year.
It was a brilliant marketing strategy from Greggs. According to www.thisismoney.co.uk, “Like-for-like sales rose 9.6 per cent, compared to a 2.9 per cent rise last year […] Shares in the FTSE 250 listed company rose 8.6 per cent to 1,740p in morning trading.”
However, Greggs have admitted their surprise at how quickly the trial of the vegan version sausage rolls, which are made from a bespoke Quorn mixture and vegetable oils, sold out from stores. It’s their fastest-selling new product in six years, with 950 stores nationwide in the UK selected for the trial and most stores selling out daily.
Greggs announced last week they will now launch the vegan sausage roll across all 1,800 of their stores nationwide due to this media-fueled, phenomenal success.