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Greggs credits dual focus on broadening appeal and availability for 20% sales uplift

GreggsGreggs has reported another strong year of growth as it seeks to both “broaden” its appeal to more consumers and “reward loyalty”.

The bakery chain generated sales of £1.81bn in 2023, up 19.6% versus the previous year.

“Our success demonstrates that the growth drivers we are pursuing are the right ones,” chief executive Roisin Currie told investors.

These growth levers include making Greggs available on more channels through initiatives like click-and-collect, keeping stores open for longer and driving customer loyalty.

The company reported its market share is “at an all-time high”. According to figures it shared from Circana, its total share of visits in the food-to-go market increased to 8.2% last year, versus 7.7% in 2022.

Greggs said this market share increase was “supported by an investment in marketing to drive consideration and purchase intent”.

We are building our brand by making Greggs mean more to more people.

Roisin Currie, Greggs

According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, Greggs’ consideration score increased from 36.9 in 2022, to 39 in 2023. This is deemed a significant upward swing according to the platform. Its purchase intent score also significantly improved in 2023 versus 2022 levels, growing from 15.6 to 16.8.

In its results, Greggs stated its awareness score is “consistently high”, at 95%, but that it is working “to let people know that Greggs is for everyone”.

“We are building our brand by making Greggs mean more to more people,” Currie said.

While aiming to “broaden” its customer base, Greggs has also been working to convert occasional customers into regular visitors and to “reward” its existing base.

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To this end, Greggs has been developing its loyalty app, use of which doubled during the year, it stated. Customers who use the app shop more frequently with Greggs, it said,

Increasing use of the loyalty app is also allowing Greggs to personalise its marketing and learn more about customer behaviours.

The company noted that it stepped up its investment in marketing in 2023, but did not specifiy by how much.

Growing Greggs’ availability

As well as looking to broaden its appeal as a brand, Greggs has also sought to make itself more available, whether that’s through extended opening hours, digital channels or new store openings.

Evening opening hours have been an ongoing focus for Greggs post-pandemic. The evening is now the business’s fastest-growing part of the day in terms of sales. In the second half of 2023, 8.7% of sales made in company managed shops occurred in the evening.

The company is also growing its digital presence, through click-and-collect and home delivery initiatives.

It is also investing in innovation, to make products to serve a wider variety of occasions and tastes.

In 2021, Greggs set out a plan to double sales by 2026. As it continues to develop its physical availability as well as its appeal to a broad set of consumers for a broad set of occasions, CEO Roisin Currie stated that the brand is “very much on track” to deliver that goal.

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