As Greggs opens its 2,500th shop, the bakery chain is on a roll
May 17th, 2024, Steve Hatch

As Greggs opens its 2,500th shop, the bakery chain is on a roll

Alongside the launch of its new summer menu, Greggs recently announced that it was opening its 2,500th shop – a “significant milestone” in the company’s five-year growth plan, which was originally announced in October 2021.

A lot has happened since then: the end of lockdowns, and the beginning of a cost-of-living crisis. But has Greggs’ esteem among customers kept pace with its expansion?

Data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that opinion of the chain has, in fact, improved since the chain announced its five-year plan – especially in comparison to the average score for QSR chains, coffee shops, and delivery services across the UK.

Naturally, Value for Money is a key metric for a budget bakery like Greggs – especially as budgets tighten. Between 1 October 2021 and 12 May 2024, the brand’s scores for this measure improved from 35.4 to 38.0 - an increase of 2.6 points  - while the industry average has declined from 0.8 to 0.3 (-0.5). Greggs has seen some price rises over the period we’ve covered, but the chain recently pledged no further increases this year.

The brand’s messaging emphasises accessibility and customer-centricity. Our data shows that Satisfaction scores rose from 35.7 to 40.1 over this timeframe (+4.4) – compared to a deterioration from 7.6 to 7.3 (-0.3) on average across its industry.

These improvements – from a standard that already outperformed the wider industry – may explain why Greggs’ Impression scores, which measure general sentiment towards a brand, jumped from 29.8 to 36.9 (+7.1) while industry scores saw a smaller increase from 5.2 to 6.1 (+0.9). Beyond being better-liked, this is translating into better customer consideration: the chain’s scores for this measure saw a six-point uptick from 33.6 to 39.6, compared to an uptick of +0.4 (from 8.7 to 9.1) for the industry.

A cheap-and-cheerful brand may have certain advantages in a cost-of-living crisis, but they are no guarantees – as the demise of Wilko last year may suggest. But the bakery chain has gone from strength to strength these past few years in terms of its brand image – and just like its sausage rolls, the idea of more Greggs stores may be warmly received.