Greggs said today that its healthier options had helped boost sales over the summer, as customers shunned sandwiches and pastries in favour of salads.
Sales were up 2.8 per cent like-for-like in the 13 weeks to 1 October, in line with the group's expectations. The rate of growth has dipped from the 4.9 per cent hike reported this time last year.
In June, Greggs chief executive Roger Whiteside said healthy food made up 10 per cent of sales - and the firm's Balanced Choice range of lighter options continued to drive sales during the last quarter.
"The popularity of our summer menu including an extended range of Balanced Choice salads and yoghurts supported sales growth in the period," Greggs said. "We also saw continued strong growth at breakfast time, helped by our strong coffee offer and value deals."
In the year-to-date Greggs said it has completed 145 shop refurbishments and is "on track to refurbish around 200 shops this year". The bakery group has opened 103 new shops, including 41 franchised units "predominantly in transport locations", and has closed 58 shops, giving a total of 1,743 shops trading at 4 October.
"Given trading to date and the outlook, our expectations for the full year outturn remain unchanged," the company said. "As we look to next year, whilst we anticipate some general industry-wide cost pressures, we expect to make further progress against our strategic plan."
Earlier this year the firm said it didn't think its performance would suffer as a result of the Brexit vote.
Meanwhile, the chain has launched its autumn/winter menu, including a range of new snacks with gluten-free options. The new hot sandwiches on offer include chipotle pulled beef, fiery pulled chicken and onion bhaji burritos.