Greggs says chicken bakes are still on the menu but supply issues hit other product lines


They can take away our chicken but they can never take our sausage rolls!

Greggs PLC (LSE:GRG), the nation’s favourite provider of sausage rolls, has joined the list of companies grumbling about supply chain issues affecting the availability of some products that contain chicken.

Fortunately, Greggs does not commit the heresy of making sausage rolls with chicken but it does make chicken bakes, although the hot snacks company was at pains to stress that supplies of this artery-hardening treat will still be available, which suggests it is cutting out less popular chicken-based products from its range of snacks.

“There are no current supply issues with our chicken bakes and our customers can continue to enjoy these as they usually would,” a spokesperson for Greggs said.

“Unfortunately, like others, we’re seeing temporary interruptions in supply for some ingredients which occasionally results in shops not being able to maintain full availability on all lines,” the spokesperson added.

According to the web site PoliticsHome, the same shortage of lorry drivers that hit supplies of chicken to the Nando’s restaurant chain last week is now disrupting supplies at Greggs. Fast food outlets such as KFC and McDonald’s have also suffered stock shortages this month.

Meanwhile, John Allen, the chair of the supermarket giant Tesco PLC (LSE:TSCO), has joined the call for the government to eat humble pie – possibly one of the few things likely to still be available in Greggs if the current crisis continues – and lure back drivers from the European Union (EU) who have returned to work in their home countries after Britain’s exit from the EU.

It’s not all at the Co-op

Echoing comments made earlier this week by Richard Walker, the managing director of frozen food specialist Iceland, Allen told BBC’s Radio 4 that this is the time of year when the supermarkets would normally be building up stock ahead of the Christmas rush, but the industry’s attempts to do so are being hampered by a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

“‘I think certainly Brexit has been a contributor to that but also improving economies, higher wages in some of the countries that they’ve come from historically, have also led to that flow,” Allen said.

“I think there may be some shortages at Christmas,” Allen said, but added he “wouldn’t want to over-dramatise the extent to which that would be the case”.

“I think it’s very easy to make a drama out of a modest crisis,” Allen said.

Steve Murrells, the chief executive of the Co-operative Group, went so far as to describe the current food shortages as the worst he has ever seen.

The Co-op has had to reduce its range of food products because of the supply issues.


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