Demand for Greggs vegan sausage rolls in the UK is so fierce that people are bidding up to £7 ($13) each for them on eBay.
The British bakery chain launched its “vegan-friendly” sausage roll on January 3 this year in 950 stores. The rollout followed what Greggs describes as “strong consumer demand”, including a 20,000-signature petition. The rolls retail for £1 ($1.86) each.
In the seven weeks after the launch, Greggs experienced a 9.6 per cent rise in like-for-like sales. Total sales jumped 14.1 per cent compared with 2.9 per cent last year.
To top it off, sales have now hit £1 billion ($1.86 billion) for the first time in Greggs’ 80-year history.
Greggs was quick to give its vegan innovation its due.
“Whilst there are significant uncertainties in the months ahead, Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll,” CEO Roger Whiteside told UK news network ITV.
“We hope to continue benefiting from this strong momentum during the first half of 2019 before facing stronger comparatives later in the year.”
‘Flying off the shelves’
The vegan sausage roll soon became a victim of its own success, however, quickly selling out across the country. In fact, demand was so high that some people were even bidding £7 ($13) for them on eBay.
Mr Whiteside said: “We’re not giving out numbers – it’s in the hundreds of thousands. But it’s the fastest-selling new product we have launched in six years. It’s literally flying off the shelves.”
On its website, Greggs says it designed the vegan sausage to “mirror” its meaty counterpart.
“The most hotly debated sausage roll since, well … the sausage roll,” the Greggs website says. “Our new vegan-friendly sausage roll has been designed to mirror some of the sausage roll’s classic features, including 96 layers of light and crisp puff pastry, but instead we wrap it around our own bespoke Quorn filling.”
According to the Vegan Society, in 2018 the UK launched more vegan products than any nation.
The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. In 2018, there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16 per cent of the population.