Greggs is planning to ramp up its healthy eating options as demand surges for its salads and yoghurts.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside said that Britain’s biggest baker is considering branching out even further from its traditional staples of sausage rolls and doughnuts into Mexican food, and potentially even sushi.
He said: “We will always be a bakery and sausage rolls will always be part of that, but we’re trying to leverage that with demand for healthier options.
“We’re looking at a number of things including a gluten-free range and more vegetarian ideas. We’re also looking seriously at Mexican food, it’s struggled in the UK for years but is gaining a foothold, and it’s not impossible that we’ll see sushi on the menu one day.”
As part of its evolution, Greggs now sells products such as teriyaki chicken noodle and falafel with houmous, which have proved a hit with customers.
Its healthy food range now accounts for 10 per cent of sales and is seeing double-digit growth, helping it notch up a 25 per cent rise in profits to £73 million last year.
Whiteside said: “We accept that the trend is moving away from over indulging in things like doughnuts and sausage rolls. We have our base, our identity if you like, but the key is to offer a variety of food that everyone can afford.”
However, talk about Brexit is not on the chief executive’s menu.
“All we know is that, if the economy suffers, we will suffer. Whatever the result, we don’t know if it will suffer, but we’re prepared to react if it does. Will we have to cut costs if the economy shrinks? Yes, just as we had to do after the financial crisis.”
He added that the firm is looking to open up to 70 new stores, creating more than 1,000 jobs in the process.
Greggs already has more than 1,720 shops and will target travel locations and office parks for new premises.