Greggs is on a (vegan) roll – make your own!

March 13, 2019 6:24 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s a tricky time for many British businesses right now – but not for bakery chain Greggs, which has just upgraded its profits expectations for the third time in a quarter. Best-known as the home of the corned-beef pasty and iced split, Greggs branched out in a new direction in January, introducing a vegan sausage roll. Perhaps you tried one?

Fancy a vegan sausage roll?

Greggs are remarkably savvy. Their well-timed move capitalized on the Veganuary movement, in which, every January, thousands of people try out a vegan lifestyle. (At Naturally Good Food, we enjoyed ourselves a lot in Veganuary too!) Veganuary 2019, it’s reckoned, reached 250,000 people this year – a record high – with an awful lot of them joining queues outside Greggs across the land.

Plant-based sales pushed the chain’s profits sky-high. Greggs announced an ‘exceptionally strong start to 2019’, with sales up almost 10% in the year to mid-February.

Tasty – or just trendy?

Greggs likes to give its customers just what they want – and what they’d wanted for a long time, it seems, was a vegan roll. The animal welfare group Peta had organized an online petition begging the chain to develop a vegan version of their ‘iconic’ [sic] sausage roll. After 20,000 people signed, the bakers rolled up their sleeves and got on with developing a recipe.

You can’t fault Greggs’ publicity and marketing efforts (their twitter feed includes mock-Shakespearian Valentine’s day quotes: ‘Two sausage rolls, both alike in dignity’, and witty responses to their celebrity trolls). It’s trending – but is it all just trendy? Or is the roll itself tasty too? Let’s take a look!

The Greggs vegan roll is filled with quorn, rather than mechanically recovered pork. It’s on sale for £1. It’s pretty similar in appearance to the original (a little paler, having no milk glaze, and a little longer and thinner – presumably to stop anyone getting confused between the two versions). It smells much the same as the meat roll and the pastry tastes pretty much identical.

Greggs worked with the food manufacturer Quorn to create a ‘bespoke’ filling for the inside. The filling is made from mycoprotein, which is itself created from a fermented fungus (fusarium venenatum). It’s high in fibre and low in fat (and is considered a sustainable protein source for our growing global population, using much less land and water than animal protein). A huge amount of testing and refining of the recipe went on, to ensure that it tasted just as moist and savoury as the original roll. Vegans, in general, loved it.

Don’t live near a Greggs?

But perhaps you weren’t one of them. Or maybe you don’t live anywhere near a Greggs? Possibly you’re not convinced by their overall vegan status – or would rather embrace plant-based eating entirely honestly, rather than search out vegan-food-that’s-pretending-to-be-meat? If so, then you might like to try one of these alternative vegan sausage rolls recipes!

Vegan sausage rolls: designed to taste just like Greggs (apparently) , with a recipe including walnuts, mushrooms, miso paste and smoked paprika.

Jamie Oliver’s vegan sausage rolls: again based on mushrooms, with white wine, Dijon mustard and almond milk.

Lazy Cat sausage rolls: with sweet potato, tofu, nutritional yeast, loads of spices, apple cider and cannellini beans.

Breaking news

Never one to rest on their laurels, Greggs have just announced their new vegan sausage roll finder app! For all those stuck in their quest to track down a branch with these snacks still in stock, there’s a new online feature that will show you exactly where to go. Featuring sausage rolls careering round an online A-Z map (like deranged woodlice), it’s perhaps the clearest sign yet that the vegan roll is here to stay.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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