Greggs recently announced that, following the easing of lockdown measures, its sales had recovered at a faster rate than many had anticipated. The bakery chain – regarded by some as a national treasure – expects annual profits to exceed previous forecasts.
Data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that Greggs’ Current Customer scores have steadily improved and are significantly higher compared to this time last year. On 7 July 2020, the proportion of Britons who’d bought something from Greggs in the past 30 days had dipped to 1.4%; by 7 July 2021, it had risen to 13.8% (+12.4). Overall, solid progress, but still some way off its pre-lockdown scores (22 March 2020: 20.9).
But if Greggs isn’t where it was before in terms of overall sales, Consideration scores have recovered rapidly. While these scores were at 26.8 this time last year (7 July 2020), they have since recovered to 32.8 (7 July 2021); almost as high as they were on the day that lockdown restrictions legally came into force (26 March 2020 – 33.4). Not as many Brits are buying their steak bakes, but they’re certainly thinking about it.
Even more encouragingly, Purchase Intent, which measures which brands consumers would be most likely to buy from, is healthier than last year – rising from 8.5 to 12.6 (+4.1 – 7 July 2020 – 2021) – and actually slightly higher than it was before the pandemic (12.3: 19 March 2020).
To speed up its recovery even more, Greggs might benefit from increasing its visibility. Perhaps understandably, given lockdown restrictions, the brand’s Buzz – which measures whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about it in the past fortnight – has yet to get anywhere near where it was before. At 8.9 (7 July 2021), scores are relatively similar to those recorded mid-lockdown (7 July – 8.9), and far lower than they were in March 2020 (21 March – 17.8). Word of Mouth, which tracks whether consumers have spoken about a brand with friends and family in the past two weeks, has seen slight improvement (11.0: 7 July 2020; 11.9: 7 July 2021), but, again, is a little off where it was in March 2021 (21 March – 16.9).
Lockdown has clearly taken a toll on Gregg’s communication efforts – so a focused PR campaign might help expedite its return to previous form. Judging from past successes, it is well within the brand’s capabilities.