Greggs X Vegan

The product launch of the decade

We owned Veganuary with the Greggs Vegan Steak Bake, by 
out-thinking the competition and continuing 
to surprise the awaiting nation.


In 2019, Greggs took the UK by storm when they launched the Vegan Sausage Roll. Defined as a cultural moment in time, a year on, the nation was, once again, gripped; eagerly awaiting Greggs’ next move.

For Veganuary 2020, Greggs cooked up the Vegan Steak Bake. The ambition was to recapture the media and public’s attention and own the conversation as they had in 2019. This time round we had the added pressures of a flood of vegan launches from competitors with meatier budgets and we no longer had the element of surprise on our side – the nation was awaiting Greggs’ next move.


In 2019, the product innovation and element of surprise were key factors in Greggs’ success. For 2020 we realised that the new product alone wasn’t going to cut it this time around – a whole nation was waiting to see what Greggs was going to do.

Our strategy capitalised on the heightened expectation as we tapped into the ‘drop culture’ of iconic lifestyle brands to build excitement, desirability and hype around the Vegan Steak Bake. We reimagined the product-launch playbook, utilised the scarcity-effect and hyped the Vegan Steak Bake as ‘this season’s must-have’ item.


It started with a tease; as all good drops do. Our teaser video on socials kick-started the hype. It acknowledged that all eyes were on Greggs again and cued up to the nation that something big was about to happen. It was aired on the UK’s most-watched breakfast show, GMB.

Everything that followed was designed to incrementally ramp up the sense of anticipation, leading up to the launch date of January 2nd 2020.

We kicked off the countdown to the drop with a social media blackout to signify something was coming, boosting the anticipation of our eagerly awaiting audience. To further add to the air of mystery we wrapped one of Greggs’ flagship shops in their Newcastle heartland in Greggs X Vegan graphics and used screens to announce an exclusive preview event, each day counting down to the in-store event on January 1st – the day before ‘The Drop’. Guests literally queued around the block to catch a glimpse of the new product and be amongst the first to try the new Vegan Steak Bake.

The Vegan Steak Bake launched to the rest of the nation the following day. We marked this momentous occasion with a dramatic launch video on Greggs’ social channels. And to secure massive nationwide coverage on the day of the launch, we delivered the Vegan Steak Bake in stylised trainer boxes to key media contacts, each with a sleek video card showing the launch video.

As with any iconic product drop, our audience took to social media and Youtube to share their first taste of the VSB with the masses – signalling that they were amongst the first to get their hands on the product of the year.


Greggs owned Veganuary, again. They did this with less than 1% of the total Veganuary media spend from competitors and in a crowded category with over 650 new veganuary products launching that month. [Source: Nielsen AdDynamix, Jan 2020].

On launch day, the Greggs Vegan Steak bake was featured on Good Morning Britain, Lorraine and a host of other daytime TV and radio shows, as well as every national newspaper – everyone wanted to get their hands on it.

Greggs took 41% share of voice amongst competitors on social media on launch day, with key competitors around 23%. For over 48 hours from launch #Greggs and #VeganSteakBake were top ten trending hashtags on Twitter. [Source: YouGov]

Greggs ended the month with all-time high brand metrics against competitors like McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Subway, and they recorded year on year gains on every YouGov BrandIndex metric. Greggs’ Buzz Score increased 6.2 year on year and contributed to Greggs hitting YouGov’s Top Ten UK brands for the first time, at number 7. [Source: YouGov BrandIndex]

The campaign resulted in unprecedented demand for the must-have vegan product, people actually queued around the block to be amongst the first to give their verdict on the must-have VSB.

This campaign won the Gold award for Best Integrated Campaign at The Drum Roses in May 2020.

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