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Tracy West: retail commentator
13 January, 2020

Did you see the story about people in Newcastle queuing to get their hands on Greggs' new Vegan Steak Bake? According to The Sun, the first person in the queue waited six hours for the midnight unveiling of the meat- and dairy-free snack.

And the first 200 people through the door received their vegan snack in a special yellow and black box given the hype I bet you can buy these on eBay.

Greggs says the Vegan Steak Bake has been created to mirror some of the original Steak Bake's classic features including 96 layers of light and crisp puff pastry, but instead of meat it has Quorn pieces, diced onions and a gravy filling. And despite the lack of meat it actually costs 5p more than the traditional steak version.

I am not sure if it's available in Greggs on forecourts yet; all the bakery chain would say was that it was available in 1,300 shops from January 2, rolling out to a further 700 shops on January 16. However, fans need not fear not being able to find one as Greggs has also launched a Vegan Steak Bake finder on its website.

It's amazing the interest surrounding a fake steak pastry. A few years ago, if someone had told me this, I would have thought they were mad but the launch of the Vegan Steak Bake follows the highly successful launch of Greggs' Vegan Sausage Roll, which helped boost the bakery chain's profits and raise its share price. A colleague of mine liked the Vegan Sausage Roll but was not so keen on the Vegan Steak Bake, saying he wouldn't buy it again. He said while the meat-free sausage roll was tasty, the meat-free Steak Bake was tasteless.

Of course, not everyone who buys these products is vegan; many are cutting down on their meat intake and many will simply be curious. However, there's no getting away from the vegan trend what with KFC's trial of a meat-free burger being so successful that it earnt its place on the permanent menu with the name, Vegan Burger, and McDonald's offering us Vegan McNuggets aka Veggie Dippers. However, vegans aren't happy with McDonald's as the Dippers are made from vegetables rather than a meat substitute some people are never satisfied!


Has the Government's shock announcement to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles - as well as hybrids - to 2035 or even earlier caused concern and disruption to your future forecourt development plans?