Roger Whiteside, the CEO of the High Street chain Greggs has been on a vegan diet for the past three weeks after watching The Game Changers.
The Company introduced the vegan sausage roll this year and it has been an unqualified success and has been responsible for a surge in its profits. So much so that Greggs is now committed to bringing out new vegan versions for its best selling products. The personal decision by the Chief Executive to go vegan for health reasons is only likely to encourage this process.
Referring to the chain’s iconic sausage roll and its new very successful vegan upstart, Whiteside commented: “if you’d asked me three weeks ago which roll I preferred I would have said the original sausage roll, but I’m now attempting to live on a vegan diet.”
The Greggs vegan sausage roll received the business Launch of the Year Award from PETA. That must have been a very easy decision for the judges.
North-East becoming a vegan centre
Greggs is based in Newcastle. Perhaps not so coincidentally the North East is looking to become something of a vegan manufacturing centre in the UK and the Gateshead Council is fully behind the initiative. The celebrity vegan entrepreneur Heather Mills’ company VBites recently established two factories in the area.
On receiving a 2019 North East Business Executive of the Year award last Friday, Whiteside commented: “Avoiding meat is easy. The problem is avoiding dairy, avoiding milk and cheese is almost impossible. It would be OK if I had time to cook, but I don’t, so I have to have things that are quick and easy.”
“We’ve got the award-winning vegan wrap which I have quite frequently and the vegan sausage roll which I’ll have about once a week, and now we have the sweet choice with the vegan sweet mince pie,” he said.
“As well as being market-leaders in bakery, which you’d expect with our heritage, we’re becoming market leaders in areas you’d never have thought of. So we’re already well on the way.”
“Put all those things together and what lies ahead is even more exciting than what we’ve achieved so far. There are lots to look forward to.”
Whilst The Game Changers, which is currently available to view on Netflix, is primarily a documentary about sportsmen and sportswomen, it is having a very major impact. It is inspiring a huge surge of interest in the health benefits of going vegan.