Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greggs Boss Decides to Go Meat and Dairy Free

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greggs Boss Decides to Go Meat and Dairy Free

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer

THE chief executive of sausage roll supremo Greggs has revealed his latest challenge - switching to a vegan diet. Roger Whiteside, who has been at the helm of the Newcastle bakery and food-on-the-go firm for seven years, used to prefer a fresh Greggs sausage roll - the company's biggest seller - over its relatively new vegan sausage roll version.

However, the business leader, who has overseen the firm's strategy to convert the firm from a traditional high street bakery to a popular food-on-the-go brand, has now revealed he has switched to a vegan diet.

He said: "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.

"I was encouraged to watch a film on Netflix called The Gamechangers - I watched it and thought this is interesting.

"Obviously there are arguments based around animal welfare and the environment, but this was all about the health benefits, and I thought I should give it a go.

"Avoiding meat is easy. The problem is avoiding dairy, avoiding milk and cheese is almost impossible. It would be okay if I had time to cook, but I don't, so I have to have things that are quick and easy."

Mr Whiteside said he's currently making his way through Greggs' vegan range, which the firm is looking to expand, potentially adding vegan versions of other bestsellers like its steak bake.

"We've got the award-winning vegan wrap which I have quite frequently, and the vegan sausage roll which I'll have once a week, and now we have the sweet choice with the vegan sweet mince pie."

His comments came as he was crowned this year's North East Business Executive of the Year at the Journal-backed awards event, held at The Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

Since taking over as CEO of Greggs seven years ago, Mr Whiteside's strategy has ensured the company has become one of the biggest names in its sector.

The firm is now number three for coffee after beating Starbucks, number two for breakfasts behind McDonald's and it has just overtaken Tesco's for sandwich lunches. …

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