After the Vegan Tax, it’s time for the Vegan Dividend

Greggs reward employees in cash as a direct result of the success of the Vegan Sausage Roll

The 25,000 employees at Greggs are getting a new year present thanks to the roaring success of the bakery’s now-iconic vegan sausage roll. They are to receive a £7m special bonus after posting the outstanding sales and profits.

The chain’s 25,000 employees will each receive up to £300 extra in their pay packets this month. There will be no difference in levels between shop floor staff and managers. This means that about 19,000 staff will receive the full amount with the rest receiving a lesser amount depending on the time they have been with the company.

The company announced the one-off payment to workers “in recognition of their crucial contribution to business success”.

The company has been continuously posting excellent trading results since the launch of the vegan sausage roll last year. It recently upgraded its profits guidance for the third time since November with sales rising by 8.7% in the quarter ending 28 December. Last October the company agreed to give a special dividend of £35m to its shareholders.

Bucking the High Street downtrend

Greggs’ CEO, Roger Whiteside, said the company had delivered “a strong finish to what has been an exceptional year for Greggs”. Total sales had increased by 13.5% with sales at “established stores” ring by 9.2% in the year.

“The major investments we have made in recent years to make Greggs an attractive choice in the food-on-the-go market are delivering. Consumers are responding very positively and we have seen increasing visits from both new and existing customers,” said Whiteside, who himself has recently become vegan.

The company has managed to buck the High Street’s downward trend. It describes the “huge popularity” of its vegan sausage roll as having driven sales. It has just added a vegan steak bake and doughnut to its vegan menu. It even created a vegan-friendly sweet mince pie for the Christmas period. As veganism has been so important for Greggs’ recent success we do not hesitate to label this one-off windfall for employees as a Vegan Dividend.

Greggs is looking to expand with an additional hundred stores set to open in the next year. Last year it opened 138 new shops and closed 41 bringing its total number of stores to 2,050 across the UK. It is developing new ideas to stay ahead of its competition as is committed to “veganizing” its best sellers.

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Nicholas Orosz

Nicholas is a former City solicitor and Cambridge graduate. He has a long-standing interest in health & nutrition, the environmental movement, green politics & digital publishing. He has always loved crafting words. His transition to a vegan perspective has been gradual and an ongoing process of self-discovery. Contact:
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