Change is possible.
Brexit meltdown, falling back into recession, ‘President’ Trump… Is change ever for the better? At the best of times it can be hard to manage change but sometimes things can go right, even when the odds are stacked against you.Take Greggs. The nation’s favourite purveyor of puff pastry products has recently branched out, leading me to me recently read the phrase “salad sales were strong in the first quarter of the year”. About Greggs. Really.
And it’s not just salads that are going down a storm – total sales for the baking chain are up 5.9% on the start of last year. Not bad going at all, especially when you consider the dubious excuses some other retailers are putting out to explain their poor performance. That’s right, Next, I’m talking about you!
From flab to fit.
As much as we all love a warm sausage roll, the UK’s consumers are generally more health conscious than they’ve ever been before and so increasing your product range to include healthier options sounds like good business sense – but do health conscious customers even go near a Greggs to see what’s on offer? This is one venture that could have fallen flat on its flabby face. So why did it work?
Well a lot of it has to do with the familiarity consumers have with the brand – we can all say where our nearest branch is – and Greggs’ research showed that their customers come from all demographics. So if health nuts do frequent Greggs now and again (more than likely under cover of darkness), all Greggs needed to do was entice them to go into their local store more often – and that’s where the falafel, teriyaki chicken and tuna salads come in. The risk paid off.
But change isn’t always about risk.
Greggs have also used their high street muscle to get in on the coffee action, offering a freshly brewed flat white to its customers. Want breakfast with your caffeine? Greggs can do that too. And with more outlets in the UK than McDonalds – honestly – it’s no wonder that breakfast sales are also booming.
Buying a breakfast roll from Greggs isn’t too far away from the product range we know and love them for, so I don’t think this was as risky a venture as their Balanced Choice salad range – more of an opportunity to tap into a market that the organisation could see was already booming – but even still, I have to give respect to any successful business that refuses to simply sit back and enjoy the spoils of its hard work.
As Clive Black from Shore Capital tells us: “A pretty much root and branch change has been made to the overall proposition (of Greggs), its merchandising and the ease and accessibility of its consumption.” He also gives them props for understanding and sticking with what the brand stands for in the eyes of so many of its customers – namely those puff pastry pleasures – whilst transforming its overall offer to appeal to a wider market.
They’ve even added seating in some stores so we can all linger to take in the heady smell of warming steak bakes while virtuously chowing down on a pot of cholesterol-busting porridge or a nutritious chargrilled chicken salad.
It’s a genius plan – and one that just might mean that their makeover from bakery store to everyone’s favourite go-to for food-on-the-go comes to fruition. Who’d have thought it? This time last year I’d put more money on Leicester City winning the Premier League. And that would’ve been ridiculous…
Ready for your own magic consumer makeover? Whatever your issue, get in touch with consumer analysis experts at The Monachie Project and let your business be the next positive story to come from the high street.