Giving something back
As a food business, we know that hunger and obesity are the issues where we are best placed to make a difference.
The British people made Greggs the success story it is today, and we have always looked for ways to give something back. Way back in the 1960s we started with our free pie 'n' peas suppers for older residents in Gateshead, and today, we give 1% of our pre-tax profits to the Greggs Foundation.
Even before the pandemic and rising energy prices ravaged our economy, far too many people were struggling with poverty and hunger in this country. We’re doing what we can by providing a free breakfast for school children, donating surplus food, and opening outlet shops in areas of deprivation.
We recognise that poor nutrition is another issue where we have a role to play and are doing more to guide our customers towards healthier choices.
We give at least 1% of our profits to the Greggs Foundation
Our donation, along with support from our customers, colleagues and partners, enables the charity to distribute over £3 million a year to charitable organisations in England, Scotland and Wales.
We are growing Greggs Breakfast Clubs
We've been providing a free breakfast to children who need it for more than two decades. We know that hungry children find it harder to concentrate and learn so we want to make sure as many as possible are getting a good start to their day, which in turn gives them a good start in life.
We are putting an end to food waste
We are looking for ways to reduce food waste right across our business. It starts with taking care with the ingredients we use to make our products, and it ends with us getting any surplus food into the hands of people who need it.
We are expanding our network of Greggs Outlets
We are opening Greggs Outlet shops in areas around the UK where we know social deprivation is high. These shops offer day-old food products at a big price reduction, meaning that families on a tight budget can pick up a delicious bargain. We donate a share of the profits from these shops to local community organisations with alleviating food poverty at heart.
We are helping people to make healthier choices
We might be famous for our Sausage Rolls and Yum Yums, but we’re starting to get a bit of a rep for being great at salads and soups too. Our healthier products are helping us reach a wider range of customers as well as helping our loyal regulars to cut their intake of salt, sugar and fat.
We support a range of great UK charities
Every year, we donate at least 1% of our pre-tax profits to The Greggs Foundation which aims to build stronger, healthier communities in the areas where Greggs operates. We also support charity partners including BBC Children in Need, North of England Children’s Cancer Research, The Disasters Emergency Committee, and the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. With the help of our customers and colleagues, we are able to do even more. Our customers and colleagues raise millions every year!
The Greggs Pledge
Download our 2022 progress report
In 2021, we launched The Greggs Pledge, setting out ten commitments to help make the world a better place. Read more about our progress in our latest report, published April 2023.
The Greggs Foundation
Each year we donate at least one per cent of profits to The Greggs Foundation, the corporate charity of Greggs plc.
Our donation, along with support from our colleagues and partners, enables the charity to invest over £3 million a year in a wide range of initiatives that improve the quality of life in our local communities.
The Greggs Foundation is a grant-making charity which aims to build stronger, healthier communities in the areas where Greggs operates. It focusses on three main issues:
Addressing issues of poverty and inequality
Ensuring food is at the heart of communities
Supporting local community organisations to make a real difference
Its principal programmes
Breakfast Club Programme
Established in 1999 to help primary school children get a nutritious start to their school day. Growing the number of clubs is one of our commitments in The Greggs Pledge.
Community Holiday Club Programme
Provides food and activities to children to reduce the impact of poverty and social deprivation during the school holidays.
North East Core Fund
Each year, this Fund makes grants of up to £45,000 to support the core costs of charitable organisations in the North East of England which are supporting their communities.
This provides small grants to families and individuals in financial hardship to provide household equipment that can make a significant difference to people's lives, such as cookers, fridge freezers and clothing.
Greggs Breakfast Clubs
We’ve been providing a free breakfast to children who need it for more than two decades.
We know that hungry children find it harder to concentrate and learn so we want to make sure as many as possible are getting a good start. By the end of 2022, we had 789 Breakfast Clubs up and running across the country, between them serving wholesome, free breakfasts to more than 48,500 children every school day. By the end of 2025, we hope to have 1,000 clubs open.
We work in partnership
A typical Breakfast Club costs just £3,000 to set up and run for a year. Funding comes from a variety of sources, half from Greggs Foundation and half from our partners.
Our partners include shareholders, businesses in our supply chain, trade bodies, social housing groups and independent businesses, each of whom bring their own skills to the scheme. Some choose to support just one or two clubs that are local to them, while others fund a nationwide network. These partners are enormously important to the success of the programme: many play an active role in supporting their local club and we share and learn from each other.
Our customers are big supporters
In 2022, anyone who bought a Jammy Heart, a carton of Ribena or one of our three different children’s sandwiches directly contributed to this great cause. We also invite customers to make a 25 pence donation at our tills, ringfenced for our Breakfast Clubs. In 2022, our customers donated over £177,000 to Breakfast Clubs via our stores.
Our teams play a big part
Our colleagues support Breakfast Clubs in their local area, meaning that a further 156 clubs were paid for through fundraising activities led by our teams.
Wherever the funding comes from, the bread always comes from Greggs. In 2022, our local shops donated more than 438,000 loaves of fresh bread to the schools in their area.
Putting an end to food waste
We are looking for ways to reduce food waste right across our business.
It starts with taking care with the ingredients we use to make our products, and it ends with us getting any surplus food into the hands of people who need it.
We want to cut production waste
Reducing waste from our manufacturing sites is a key part of our food waste reduction plan and, in 2018 – our baseline year – food waste in our production sites represented about 0.3% of sales. Our target is to reduce that by 25% and in 2022 we achieved a further 10% reduction, wasting only 0.25%. We are now working hard to reduce that level further as we grow.
In part, this is due to a new mapping process that is helping us to spot where waste is being created so we can make targeted changes. The process uses software and hardware to collect data, allowing for a more detailed review of any ‘pinch points’. We can then action any required process changes or equipment adjustments to ensure good performance is maintained.
However hard we work to remove waste from our production processes, we know there will always be some and we want to do what we can to keep it out of landfill. For instance, our Manchester, North Lakes and Leeds sites send food waste to be used as animal feed – and we plan to get more sites doing the same.
We're reducing food waste in our shops
Greggs is a business built on freshness: our customers can taste that our Sausage Rolls and Steak Bakes are freshly made in our ovens. To manage this ‘daily fresh’ approach we use a sophisticated forecasting and ordering system which calculates, shop by shop, what we expect our customers to buy each day.
We give good food a second chance
Anything unsold at the end of a day is surplus. We have three channels for giving this good food a second chance: we donate it to charities who can make use of it; we offer it to our customers at a discount; and we sell it through our Greggs Outlet shops
We support a network of over 1,000 local charities, which take our surplus food and pass it on to people in need. In 2022, we gave away more than 1,165 tonnes of food – 11% more than in 2021.
Across the UK, over 900 Greggs shops offer unsold food at a greatly reduced price through the Too Good To Go app. Every day, 45 minutes before we close a shop, we make up bags containing around £8 worth of unsold products – typically two sandwiches, two savouries and two sweet products. These ‘Magic Bags’ are then offered on the app for just £2.59 and customers visit the shop to collect them just before closing time. We have sold over 1.8 million Magic Bags since we launched the partnership in 2020, saving food that would otherwise may have been wasted.
Another 1,810 tonnes was passed to our Greggs Outlet shops in 2022. Collectively, these initiatives meant that we redistributed 10% more unsold food in 2022 and we remain committed to driving this figure up further in the years ahead.
We are opening Greggs Outlet shops in areas around the UK where we know social deprivation is high.
These shops offer day-old food products at a big price reduction, meaning that families on a tight budget can pick up a bargain. We added ten new shops in 2022, taking the total to 30. We opened ten new shops in 2022. So far, these are largely in the North and West of Britain, stretching from Bristol and London to Glasgow.
We want to avoid food waste
Cutting food waste is a priority for Greggs (read more here). Making sure we have the freshest possible products on sale means that good food sometimes goes to waste if we don’t sell it on the day it’s made. Greggs Outlet shops are a solution to that challenge – we now have a dedicated channel for unsold food.
We help people to bag a bargain
Our outlet shops also help to address a different challenge: too many people in the UK are struggling to put food on the table so we’re helping people to stretch their money further. In an average week in 2022, we redistributed over 35,000 sandwiches, 30,000 savoury products and 33,000 sweet treats.
We raise money for the community
A further benefit of Greggs Outlet shops comes from the money they generate for the community: we have chosen to donate a share of the profits to the Greggs Foundation where it is ring-fenced for local community groups that are working to tackle food poverty and associated issues.
In 2022, we donated £417,000 – up from £240,000 in 2021. This was shared between organisations including soup kitchens, food banks and community groups. Each community hub is making a real impact in the neighbourhood of one of our Outlet shops which provide food and support for people in the neighbourhood of one of our outlet shops. These one-year grants are typically used to cover salaries, overheads or projects.
Helping our customer to make healthier choices
Our vision is to be the customer’s favourite for food-on-the-go. To achieve that, we know we need to offer great tasting, freshly prepared food that helps people to stay healthy.
As times and tastes have changed, we’ve continued to add to our range. These days, you may be surprised by our menu. There’s enough choice to keep everyone happy. Healthier choices, balanced choices, sustainable choices, vegan choices. So many choices in fact, you’ll be spoiled. But whatever option you choose, there’s two things that’ll never change – amazing taste and great value.
We know that people are prioritising healthy eating more than ever before – our customers want to eat more fruit and veg, and consume more vitamins. Our job is to respond to that desire by creating tasty Greggs products that help people eat more of the good stuff and less salt, sugar and fat.
We are also making it easier for our customers to make healthier choices and make an informed decision about which of our products meet their dietary needs, through better labelling.
We are putting healthier choices on our shelves
We’ve set ourselves a target to make 30% of everything we sell a healthier choice. That means the product must contain fewer than 400 calories and score no reds in the Food Standards Agency traffic light system for fat, salt and sugar.
We smashed our 30% target in 2021, and again in 2022. Our challenge now is to maintain this as we extend opening hours in more shops and increase the number of orders that we deliver. Our customers tend to want something heartier for their evening meal, so we are trialling healthier options to meet that need.
We celebrate plant power!
Many of our customers want to eat less meat as part of a flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diet so we have developed vegan versions of our best sellers, attracting new customers and helping existing customers to lower their meat consumption. We had a huge hit with our Vegan Sausage Roll in 2019, our Vegan Steak Bake in 2020 and our Vegan Ham and CheeZe Baguette was crowned ‘Best Vegan Sandwich’ at the 2021 PETA Vegan Food Awards. In 2022, we have increased our vegan options by 30% and our vegan range of food products accounted for 7.6% of total sales.
We have reformulated our products
We are always working on making our existing range healthier. Since 2016, we have removed 20% of the sugar from our pastries, yoghurts, biscuits and cakes and are now working on reducing the calories and salt to make sure that they meet or exceed the recommendations of Public Health England.
As well as helping our customers to eat less salt, fat and sugar, we also want to help them get more of the good stuff like protein and vitamins. Every one of our soups and leaf-based meal salads contains at least one portion of veg, and 50% of our own-brand cold sandwiches provide half a portion. We’re redeveloping our bread and rolls, enriching them with vitamin D and will let our customers know about these improvements through marketing and promotion.
We guide people towards healthier choices
We know that providing clear information is important in helping people to make informed choices about what they eat. That’s why we’ve put calorie and nutritional information on the shelf, as well as on our website and the Greggs App.
We use a ‘traffic light’ label to help people see at a glance what each product contains – in fact, when we added this information to our website and app, we were the first food-on-the-go brand to do so. We now have traffic lights on every item in our savoury and sweet lines and are working on our hot ‘to go’ products.
In addition to the label, we are finding ways to help people see the wider nutritional benefits of a product by flagging when something is, say, high in protein or fibre.
We want to make our healthier choices as tempting as possible too.
Greggs has a proud reputation of giving back. Since John Gregg founded the business in 1939, we have always tried to do the right thing and support our communities.
In addition to giving money to the Greggs Foundation, we also support certain charities year after year because they deal with issues that our people and customers feel passionate about.
BBC Children in Need
Greggs has been a partner of BBC Children in Need since 2006. In that time, we have raised over £11 million for the charity - something we are really proud of.
Our colleagues get behind BBC Children in Need each and every year with a whole host of weird and wonderful activities to raise money, whilst having plenty of fun along the way.
As well as this, in the run up to appeal night, our customers get the chance to sink their teeth into Pudsey and Blush ring buns, Pudsey shortbread and Blush gingerbread. There couldn’t be a tastier way to fundraise! Pudsey pin badges, ears and wristbands are also on sale, to help supporters look the part.
Children’s Cancer North charity
We’re proud supporters of Children’s Cancer North charity and 2023 is our 40th year as the main partner of its annual Children's Cancer Run. Since 1979, the run has raised over £40 million to fund research into improving recovery rates of children with cancer.
The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal
Greggs are proud supporters of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and have been for a number of years. With the help of our customers, we raise vital funds through our in-shop collections. With over 2,300 shops nationwide, we have made the commitment to be placed on the national list issued by the Royal British Legion to help volunteers organise collections in their area.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)
When major disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently, enabling our member charities to rapidly scale up their operations on the ground. We have worked with DEC for a number of years supporting its urgent appeals through in-shop fundraising, helping to raise funds for essential food, water, and medical treatment – most recently we supported for victims of the attack on Ukraine. Through the generosity of our customers and colleagues, we have raised over £400,000 for DEC campaigns.
Volunteering with causes that are close to our hearts
We know that communities, charities and community organisations need more than just financial support. Every year, each of our managers is invited to spend one working day volunteering in support of a local organisation. We aim to match our peoples’ skills with the needs of that organisation so they can benefit from the specific knowledge and skills of our management team. Our people benefit too. In addition to a sense of achievement and wellbeing, a day spent applying their skills in a new setting helps with their professional development.