Vegan chicken could be next on the menu at the popular British bakery chain Gregg’s.
Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside has hinted that the company is exploring further vegan products, per The Sun.
“[Vegan] chicken is a way forward,” Whiteside said. “I have seen some good products out there.”
An ‘Exceptional Year’ for Greggs
This news follows the launch of a vegan steak bake and glazed donuts earlier this month. The demand for plant-based foods at Greggs is growing and customer response to the new products has been overwhelmingly positive.
According to Greggs, the popularity of the vegan sausage roll, in particular, was so great, it helped increase total sales by 13.5 percent in 2019. In a statement, Whiteside said “[it’s] a strong finish to what has been an exceptional year for Greggs.”
The chain is even paying £7 million in bonuses to its employees thanks to the “huge popularity” of the vegan sausage roll. The company says the bonus is “in recognition of their crucial contribution to business success.”
While Whiteside didn’t disclose what the vegan chicken will be made from, the sausage roll and the new steak bake are both made using Quorn.
Last July, Whiteside revealed that the chain is planning to release vegan versions of its top-selling products. He said, “we are plugging away at seeing if we can come up with a vegan version of all our top-selling lines.”
‘All About the Health’
The expansion of Greggs’ vegan menu is in response to increasing consumer demand. Around 2.3 million Brits have meatless days every week, according to a study by Leatherhead Food Research.
“Obviously, people want a vegan option,” Whiteside told LBC last August. “If we can succeed in doing that and produce something that tastes just as good as the meat version, then that will sell very successfully. That’s what’s been shown with the vegan sausage roll.”
Whiteside himself has even tried a vegan diet after watching James Cameron’s 2019 vegan documentary “The Game Changers.” While he acknowledged animal welfare and the environment, Whiteside told the North East Business Executive Awards that his decision was “all about the health benefits.”