Britain's Sausage Roll Is Safe, Says Greggs Boss
British baker and fast food chain Greggs said supplies of its famous sausage rolls will be maintained despite a crisis in the country's pork industry that has left over 100,000 pigs backed-up on farms, its boss said on Tuesday.
"The sausage roll is safe, that's one thing we haven't gone short of," CEO Roger Whiteside told Reuters after Greggs updated on trading.
However, he said supply chain disruption was impacting different ingredients and products every day.
"I wake up every morning and I find out what's short that day because something has been disrupted in the supply chain," he said.
"There's some different thing going on every day, with some different item."
Whiteside said Greggs was fortunate as customers have been willing to take a substitute if it runs out of one particular product.
"But that can't be sustained for ever because customers will start to drift away if they find that you're continually selling out of things that they expect to find," he added.
Full-year Profit Outlook
British baker and fast food chain Greggs raised its full-year profit outlook after underlying third-quarter sales rose 3.5% compared to two years ago despite staffing and supply chain disruption.
Greggs, which trades from 2,146 shops and is best known for its sausage rolls, steak bakes, vegan snacks and sweet treats, said sales growth was particularly strong in August when a "staycation" effect was evident and remained in positive territory in September, with two-year like-for-like growth of 3.0% in the four weeks to 2 October.
However, the group said it had not been immune to pressures on staffing and supply chains, and had seen some disruption to the availability of labour and supply of ingredients and products in recent months.
Food Input Inflation
It cautioned that food input inflation pressures were also increasing.
"Whilst we have short-term protection as a result of our forward buying positions we expect costs to increase towards the end of 2021 and into 2022," it said.
Greggs said its operational cost control has been good and the strong sales performance in the third quarter had given it confidence as it moved into the autumn.
"Subject to any unexpected COVID disruption we expect the full-year outcome to be ahead of our previous expectations," it said.
Prior to Tuesday's update analysts' average forecast for full-year pretax profit was £133 million ($181 million) according to Refinitiv data, versus a £13.7 million loss in 2020.