Greggs stockpiling bacon and tuna in anticipation of Brexit

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bacon is on the list of ingredients Greggs is stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit
Bacon is on the list of ingredients Greggs is stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit

Related tags: Bakery

High-street baker Greggs has revealed plans to stockpile key ingredients – including bacon and tuna – in anticipation of supply chain disruption in the wake of Brexit.

However, media reports that the vertically-integrated retailer is to stockpile pork for its sausage rolls have been dismissed by a spokesman for the business.

The company, which has 2,000 stores nationwide, said it would also source cheese and sugar from in the UK. Dale Farm began supplying Greggs with cheese in May this year.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside told The Guardian ​that stockpiling would only help to mitigate shortages for a few days, due to the nature of the business as a producer of fresh foods with relatively short shelf lives.

Short shelf lives

“There’s not much we can do. We don’t have long-life items in the way that others do,”​ he said. “We can’t stockpile fruit and vegetables and salads. Bacon has more​ [shelf] life so we can hold it for a few days.”

Whiteside also confirmed that the company had also leased extra warehouse space this month.

His comments followed yesterday’s release of Greggs’ third quarter trading report for 2019, which confirmed it was “preparing for the potential impact of the UK's departure from the EU by building stocks of key ingredients and equipment that could be affected by disruption to the flow of goods into the UK”.

Sales growth

Greggs reported total sales growth of 12.4% for the 13 weeks to 28 September 2019, with like-for-like sales up 7.4% during the same period.

Shore Capital analyst and head of research Clive Black commended the baker’s “tremendous”​ top-line performance and reiterated its hold recommendation on Greggs’ shares.

Commenting on the Newcastle-based baker’s outlook on Brexit, Black added: “Greggs sort of notes the chaos of the UK’s relations with the EU and so states that it is building stocks of key ingredients – look out for the sausage meat mounds in Tyneside – while guiding to cost pressures in-line with management’s prior statements noting upward pressure on labour and foodstuffs.

Related topics: Bakery, Operations, Brexit

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