Bakery chain Greggs today said demand for healthier snacks and drinks helped third-quarter sales beat its forecasts.
The firm, which trades from more than 1,600 outlets, said like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 3 October grew 4.9 per cent, “slightly ahead of our expectations”.
That growth was delivered in the face of tough comparisons with the same period a year earlier, when sales were up 5.2 per cent.
“Product initiatives across the day combined with our great value deals continue to drive increased customer visits and transaction values,” Greggs said.
“The extension of our Balanced Choice range to include improved own-label drinks with no added sugar has proved popular with customers.”
Following the better-than-expected performance in the third quarter, Greggs told investors that it expects “to deliver good growth for the year, slightly ahead of our previous expectations”.
It added: “Market conditions remain favourable with low cost pressures and a stronger consumer environment. We expect this to continue through to the end of the year, after which increases to wage rates will drive greater inflationary pressure.
“Our standard rate for hourly-paid shop staff is already above the national minimum wage and we will maintain a competitive position in the market going forward.”