Greggs sales jump 23% despite repeated price increases

Vegan sausage rolls and Steak Bakes are seen for sale in a Greggs bakery near Manchester, Britain January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Greggs said its Festive Bakes, mince pies and salted caramel lattes appealed to cash-strapped Christmas shoppers. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

Greggs (GRG.L) saw sales surge by nearly a quarter over 2022 despite increasing the prices of its sausage rolls and other baked goods several times during the year.

The low-cost bakery chain said total sales rose 23% over the year to hit £1.5bn, up from £1.2bn the previous year.

Greggs said inflation continues to hit its costs and put pressure on consumers, but that its value meals remain attractive.

But prices have been on rise at the bakery chain, with the national price of its sausage roll now £1.20, having started 2022 at £1. In some city-centre locations like London, its sausage roll costs as much as £1.45.

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Greggs admitted that inflation continues to hit its costs, including energy and food products, with the group seeing costs up by about 9% on average over 2022, compared with the previous year.

It forced the group to increase the prices of some of its key food items several times over the course of the year, with the sausage roll, lunchtime deal and hot evening deals going up each time by 5p or 10p.

Chief executive Roisin Currie said cost inflation would remain "material" in 2023, but she was confident Greggs would continue to make progress.

"While market conditions in 2023 will remain challenging, our value-for-money offer of freshly-prepared food and drink is highly relevant as consumers look to manage their budgets without compromising on quality and taste," she said in a statement.

Greggs breakfast meal deal remains at £2.60 and its lunch deal at £3.60.

Demand for Greggs’ seasonal lines was high, it said, such as its Festive Bake, a vegan alternative, Sweet Mince Pies and festive hot drinks such as the Salted Caramel Latte.

Plant-based foods are “contributing more significantly” to Greggs’ range, it added, citing new hot options such as a Vegan Festive Baguette.

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Like-for-like sales for 2022 were up 18%. Sales in the fourth quarter also rose 18%.

Greggs said it opened 186 new shops in the year, and closed 39 shops.

The low-cost food chain reassured investors that, even though consumers are facing cost-of-living pressures, its meals remain good value and therefore attractive to the cash-conscious consumer.

Greggs confirmed that it expects to meet its full-year profit expectations despite the challenging conditions faced last year.

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