Greggs: Vegan Sausage Roll

Who’d have thought a vegan sausage roll could cause so much outrage and hilarity on social media – and increase profits so much?!

Launching on social media on January 2nd 2019, Greggs responded to consumer pressure to create a vegan sausage roll after a petition signed by over 20,000 people. So far, so good.

The scathing reaction was swift from Piers Morgan and obviously anticipated by Gregg’s team as the put down was immediate – and beautifully put. They rode the following fierce debates well and gave us a masterclass in how to ride a social media crisis storm.

The resulting ding-dong battle drove engagement on social media, with many non-vegans saying they would be buying a vegan sausage roll just to upset Piers Morgan and other people criticising the brand. As Roger Whiteside, the CEO, said:

“Awareness of the brand has never been higher”.

Profits benefited too, with 25,000 staff sharing a £7M bonus in January 2020 after a “phenomenal year’.

Doing the right thing for your consumer base, even if it triggers a social media crisis, can be highly beneficial for business. It just has to be handled correctly.

Further Reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/14/greggs-vegan-sausage-rolls-fuel-profit-boom

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/greggs-staff-bonus-vegan-sausage-roll-steak-bake-sales-a9274766.html