Greggs delves into consumer research to boost brand

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greggs, Marketing

The UK wide bakery chain Greggs is set to push its
already-established brand further into the domestic market and get
a jump on competitors with plans for a renewed focus on marketing,
advertising and internal restructuring.

Greggs has created the new post of retail director to oversee the shift in direction for the company and said it would invest in advertising and greater research to foresee and respond to future consumer trends in the market.

In common with a number of top UK bakers, Greggs saw unsteady trading over the summer period when profits dropped 20 per cent from £15.6m (€23m) to £12.5m (€18.5m).

Now the bakery firm, who also own the Bakers Oven outlets, are hoping a change in direction will boost lost sales and contribute to a revival of the brand which has recently extended into a healthier range to counter obesity concerns.

Managing director Sir Michael Darrington said: "By focusing on the development and marketing of a unified national brand, we aim to make the whole Greggs business more responsive, increasing our ability to meet new competitive challenges by delivering to our customers exactly what they want, when they want it."

The group's Northern and Scottish operations which have traditionally fared better than the Southern English outlets have recently undergone a significant overhaul with 14 shops closing and the rebranding of 49 Bakers Oven stores to Greggs.

In a trading statement released yesterday, the company estimated closure costs would exceed the original figure of 2.5m by 1.25m but optimistically stated that restructuring was due to increase annual profits from 2007 by at least £1.25m (€1.86m) per year.

Greggs is planning to increase its Healthier Options range of salads, fruit snacks and filled wraps to attract health conscious consumers in the new year as well as investing in greater research, marketing and advertising.

In addition, the company is set to embark on trials into trading hours and formats to better target the on-the-go snacking sector.

Related topics: Ingredients

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