From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the British bakery chain. For the New Zealand coffee, desserts and condiments company, see Gregg's (New Zealand).
Greggs plc
Public (LSEGRG)
Industry Food (Bakery Group)
Founded 1939; 77 years ago (1939)
Founder John Gregg
Headquarters Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Key people
Ian Durant
(Group Chairman)
Roger Whiteside
(Chief Executive)
Products Sandwiches, pies and pastries; baked goods
Revenue £835.7 million (2015)[1]
£73.1 million (2015)[1]
£57.6 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
19,847 (2015)[1]
Greggs, Carmarthen, during snowfall (2009)
Greggs, Waterlooville (2008)
Historic shop front, Greggs, Brecon (2005)

Greggs plc (LSEGRG) is the largest bakery chain in the United Kingdom. It specialises in savoury products such as pasties, sausage rolls and sandwiches and sweet items including doughnuts and vanilla slices. It is headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

The first Greggs was opened in 1951. Originally growing regionally from its North East base, Greggs began to acquire other regional bakery chains across the rest of the country from the 1970s onwards. By the 1990s, it was the largest bakery chain in the country, after acquiring its major rival, Bakers Oven, in 1994. In 2011 the chain had 1,671 outlets.[2]


Greggs was founded by John Gregg as a Tyneside bakery in 1939.[3] It opened its first shop in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1951.[4]

When John died in 1964, the bakery was taken over by his son, Ian, assisted by his brother, Colin. Major expansion began soon after, including the acquisitions of other bakeries such as Glasgow-based Rutherglen in 1972, Leeds-based Thurston's in 1974, Broomfields the Bakers, London, Bowketts the Bakers in Kent, Tooks the Bakers (East Anglia) and Price's (Manchester) in 1976.[5]

In May 1994, the company acquired the Bakers Oven chain of bakers' shops from Allied Bakeries.[5] In August 1999, Greggs rebranded its 100 Braggs bakers shops as Greggs of the Midlands, and its Leeds based Thurston chain as Greggs of Yorkshire.[6]

In December 2008, Greggs announced that all of its 165 Bakers Oven branded shops would be re branded into the Greggs brand so that all the shops could benefit from the Greggs national advertising campaign.[7] In 2011, the company opened its 1,500th shop in York.[2] In 2012, the company began selling frozen pasties through supermarket chain Iceland. In January 2013, Greggs replaced its CEO Ken McMeikan with Punch Taverns CEO Roger Whiteside. McMeikan left the firm for Brake Bros.[8]

In November 2009, when it had around 1400 stores (more than fast food chain McDonalds), the company announced plans for a further 600.[9] In 2013, however, in the face of declining sales. Greggs stated that they were no longer intending to increase their number of stores. They aimed to refit 215 stores (about 12% of their estate) by the end of the year, as well as introducing new products, such as pizza.[10]

In August 2014, the company complained to Google when an "offensive" satirical parody of the Greggs logo was presented in search results as the actual company logo – falling afoul of imperfections in the "Google algorithm".[11] The firm's lighthearted social media response was noted as a "lesson in Twitter crisis management".[12][13]


The company has grown steadily over the years, and now has over 1,600 outlets, with many town and city centres having several stores. In May 2015 the chain had 1671 outlets, 9 regional bakeries and employed 20,000 staff.[14] By March 2016, the number of outlets had grown to 1698.[15]

Greggs Moment[edit]

In September 2011, Greggs opened its first Greggs Moment, a 104-seater coffee shop, in its home town of Newcastle. It was located on Northumberland Street.[16] This store was shortly followed by one in the nearby MetroCentre in 2012,[17] and the Hill Street Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough. Five outlets had been opened by February 2013.[18]

In 2013, the company announced that this trial of entering the coffee market would be discontinued. Instead, there would be a focus on selling coffee from their existing stores.[19]


In July 2002, actress and model Milla Jovovich, a fan of the store and its pasties,[20] said that she would be willing to become the "face of Greggs", in a new marketing campaign if the firm approached her. However, no such approach was made.[21]

Pasty tax[edit]

In March 2012, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced that he was going to ensure VAT was charged on pasties, and other baked foods (as it is on other hot takeaway food), Greggs participated in a campaign to reverse this decision, which became known as the "pasty tax" or "Pasty Gate".[22]

Greggs: More Than Meats the Pie[edit]

An eight-part documentary series, called Greggs: More Than Meats The Pie,[23] which goes behind the scenes of the bakery and all its areas, was broadcast on Sky1 and Sky1 HD in 2013. The first episode achieved in excess of over 740,000 viewers, with all ratings across Sky1, Sky1+1 and Sky2 factored in.[24] Sky revealed the documentary programme was Sky1's number one original show in April, with a final total of 1.27 million viewers.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Greggs. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Greggs plc interim management statement" (PDF). Greggs plc. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Takeaway market holds key to Greggs' future". The Northern Echo. 18 November 2003. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Earning a crust; How famous bakery rose from pushbike yeast deliveries Remember When a blast from the past. (News)". 19 March 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "history". Greggs. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Greggs". Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chief Executive's Review and Trading Update". Greggs plc. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (2013-01-24). "Greggs poaches Punch Taverns chief". Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  9. ^ "How did Greggs conquer the High Street?". BBC News. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  10. ^ Jennifer Rankin (2013-10-09). "Greggs slows sales decline as it battles to win back customers | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  11. ^ Elena Cresci (2014-08-19). "Why did an offensive Greggs logo show up in Google's web search? | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  12. ^ Bold, Ben (20 August 2014). "Greggs gives lesson in Twitter crisis management after fake logo debacle". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Usborne, Simon (22 August 2014). "Was Greggs' response to its logo mishap a stroke of genius?". The Independent. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Greggs: The baker that is stopping selling loaves". BBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Ed Cumming (2016-03-05). "How Greggs conquered Britain: 'Nobody can quite believe how well it has done' | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  16. ^ Karen Dent (29 September 2011). "Greggs open first coffee shop in Newcastle". nechronicle. 
  17. ^ nechronicle Administrator (13 August 2012). "Greggs open coffee shop at Gateshead Metrocentre". nechronicle. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Greggs Moment headed for Midlands". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Greggs shares hit after sales and profits fall – BBC News". 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  20. ^ "Milla munches Geordie fare". BBC News. 9 July 2002. Retrieved 16 April 2007. 
  21. ^ "Slav to love". Daily Telegraph. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007. 
  22. ^ VAT Notice 701/14 Catering and take-away food. HM Revenue & Customs. October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Greggs TV series airs in April – British Baker". 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  24. ^ "BARB". 
  25. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (2013-05-29). "'Revolution', 'Arrow' revealed as Sky's most-watched shows in April". Retrieved 2016-08-25. 

External links[edit]