First there was the groundbreaking sausage roll. Next up is the Quorn-based “steak” bake. Greggs has now added another vegan alternative to its menu: the Vegan Sausage, Bean and CheeZe Melt.
Available in 2,000 stores nationwide, the new product reflects the traditional meat-filled sausage, bean and cheese melt, or SBCM as it is called by die-hard fans.
The vegan-friendly version is wrapped in layers of vegan puff pastry, but instead of the classic filling contains vegan sausage, baked beans and grated vegan cheese with a mozzarella flavor (yes, you have to spell it with a huge “Z”).
Customers were lining up around the block for Greggs’ previous vegan releases, so it’s no wonder the retailer is working on a theme.
Where other high street bakeries have struggled, Greggs has managed to recover from a tough 18 months, with profits now beating pre-pandemic levels. Can that £ 1.60 beanie casserole help keep Greggs in the black?
The vegan SBCM
Faima Bakar, life reporter ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“My hopes are very high with Greggs’ new vegan sausage, bean and cheese melt. The last time I tried a new vegan product – the famous sausage roll – it had healing powers. When it hit the market I felt sick, but the sausage roll was the only thing I could take. I felt better after dinner. See, healing powers. So I expected the same kind of magic from this one.
“Unfortunately it falls a bit flat. The beans feel too tomato and runny, they mask the rest of the flavors – but the sausage and pastries are filling. It looks and smells just like other Greggs items, and has the crumblyness of them too, so maybe don’t eat it over your laptop.
“While I don’t love this one as much as the other vegan products at Greggs, I’m glad they are continuing down this path. Since I’m on a halal diet, I can’t eat their sausage rolls, steak bakeries, and melts. But the vegan offer changes all that. “
Rachel Moss, life editor ️⭐️
“My breakfast routine usually consists of tea and something sweet, so I can safely say that normally I would never pick up a huge hearty square before 10am.
“But I have to give it to Greggs, the chefs got the pastry straight to the point – it’s buttery texture, golden in appearance, and you’d have no idea it’s vegan unless someone points it out. Unfortunately it goes downhill if you bite into it; The filling is disappointing mainly because there isn’t enough of it.
“The vegan sausage is almost completely missing and the cheese is so mild that you can’t taste it. The taste of beans dominates in the largely hollow shell. I like beans, but would I buy a plain old bean melt? No, I wouldn’t. “
Where is the filling?
Nancy Groves, Head of Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Even though I’m a carbohydrate eater, I’ve never really looked at Greggs, I guess because I prefer my starch in potato, rice, or noodle form than pastries and pies. Still, I’m not going to turn down a free meal, and this melt certainly is that: high in protein, despite its plant-based properties.
“When I bite into it, I can taste all the different elements that we are promised, even if I can’t see them – the filling has that unmistakable pink-red hue of baked beans that makes me a little queasy. But neither the ‘Sausage’ pieces nor the ‘CheeZe’ give me the kick I often get from vegan substitutes, and the pastry square holds its shape pretty well so it’s easy to eat on the go – or who am I kidding? – at my home office desk. I’m full when I feel like green. I still don’t get the Greggs hype, but this Schmelz is my type. Yes, I’m surprised too. “
Habiba Katsha, life reporter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“As a certified Greggs fan, I am very happy that you have expanded your vegan line. While I’m not a vegan per se, it’s nice to know that there is a healthier alternative. I grew up on Greggs and my fondest memories are having a sausage roll with my mom in the morning.
“The presentation of the sausage, bean and cheese melt is perfect, but I don’t expect anything less from Greggs. It’s golden and crispy. I’m shocked that these are even vegan because I expected them to taste bland, but the opposite is true. The filling is really aromatic and I can taste all the elements that come through. The nice surprise is how I feel after eating. Even though I’m full, I still feel light because it’s not too heavy in the stomach. “