Bakery chain Greggs adds new ‘healthy’ pasties to menu

High street bakery Greggs has started selling lower fat pasties Picture: Havas PR/PA Wire
High street bakery Greggs has started selling lower fat pasties Picture: Havas PR/PA Wire
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It is the high street’s last bastion against more salutary fare, which famously put paid to George Osborne’s ill-conceived pasty tax.

But in a concession to Britain’s changing appetite, Greggs has introduced a new range of lower fat options to its menu.

The country’s biggest bakery chain, best known for its rich, buttery goods, has unveiled two new offerings in the form of katsu chicken and Bombay potato pasties.

With a calorie count of 288 and 274kcal respectively, it signals a move away from its traditional, if nutritionally questionable staples, such as the steak bake (405kcal) and sausage and bean melt (453kcal).

The new pasties are made with a sourdough-based shortcrust pastry with a crumb topping rather than traditional puff pastry. As a result, both meet green or amber traffic light labelling requirements for fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content.

The company said it was responding to demands from its considerable customer base across the country.

The decision has also been influenced by buoyant sales of other relatively healthy options rolled out in recent years, which include the likes of teriyaki chicken noodle salad, honey roast ham and free range egg salad, and cajun chicken flatbread, all of which come in below the 400kcal count.

The company posted a 6 per cent rise in sales to £422 
million while like-for-like sales lifted by 3.8 per cent during the six months to July 2.

It said the figures had been boosted by Britons buying its healthier ranges, which now account for more than 10 per cent of sales.

Malcolm Copland, the company’s commercial director, explained: “Greggs is well-loved for its traditional pasties and sausage rolls, but we recognise that our customers are increasingly looking for lower calorie options too.

“We understand that eating healthier means many different things to different people, it’s also about freshness as much as it is lowering intake of calories and fat.”

For advocates of the company’s comforting if stodgy fare, the latest revamp the menu is part of a trend that seen some of its longstanding fare jettisoned in favour of new, healthier options.

The chain, which has 1,700 shops nationwide and serves more than six million customers a week, first launched its balanced choice range in 2014, offering lower calorie breakfast, lunch and snack options such as salads, soup, porridge pots and fruit.

It has also removed hydrogenated fat, monosodium glutamate and all artificial colours and flavours.

Its decision last year to pull from sale the macaroni pie, a delicacy sold only in Scotland, prompted a petition and online campaign calling for its reinstatement.

Greggs, however, remained unbowed, instead rolling out two new offerings in the form of a Mediterranean pork roll and a green Thai chicken lattice.

It is not the only high street eatery that is increasingly exploring the profitability of healthy food. Earlier this year, the Italian chain, Bella Italia, became one of the first chains to introduce spiralised vegetables to its menus, while fast food behemoth McDonald’s recently introduced a new salad mix to a menu once dominated by burgers.