Ken McMeikan on…

Ken McMeikan on the future of the high street, obesity and the typical Greggs customer.

…The UK’s obesity crisis

As a baker, we have not only responsibility, but a great opportunity to help. In each of our food categories we have a dedicated team working on how we can remove some of the salt and fat content without losing the great taste.

We also do a lot to promote healthy lifestyles and run breakfast clubs for children to get a healthy, nutritious breakfast. We want to find a way of putting calorie information on shelf-edge labels so people can make a decision at the point of purchase.

…Saving the high street

With the number of shops that are closing, some high streets are less of a destination for customers. But people should not be too pessimistic about the future because, for example, where Woolworths has gone, companies like Poundland have come in.

Greggs, Costa and Subway are expanding to take up some of that spare capacity, but they won’t take it all.

Retailers will have to think about why customers should come to their shops. The service in shops has to be so good that it will encourage people to browse and buy in-store.

Parking is another challenge [in terms of accessibility and cost]. That is a major problem that high street retailers are going to have to work with councils to address. You can have a fantastic retail business but if it is difficult to get there then customers won’t come.

…A typical Greggs customer

There isn’t one. We have an almost even split between men and women, every age range, profession and everyone from barristers to builders. Depending on where the shop is, the range will vary. We try to cater for all age ranges and different needs of customers.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here