* Greggs partners NAAFI in savouries supply deal
* Greggs trial to supply British military base in Germany
* Successful trial could result in global roll-out
By James Davey
LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The British army could soon be marching on a stomach filled by Greggs if a trial for the country’s biggest baker to supply savouries like Cornish pasties and sausage rolls works out, offering the company important new income in the downturn.
Greggs, based in Newcastle, northeast England, said on Monday it had launched a trial with the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI), the armed forces caterer, that will see it supply frozen savouries to the British military base in Gutersloh, Germany.
NAAFI currently serves Britain’s military in Afghanistan, Ascension, Brunei, Germany, Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland, as well as on board Royal Navy ships.
Greggs, which sells sandwiches, savouries, bread, cakes and pastries to over 6 million customers a week, currently trades from about 1,600 UK stores, more than McDonald‘s.
But with Britain in recession it is seeking other ways of making money and has had success wholesaling frozen savouries through the Iceland chain of supermarkets, as well as opening franchise stores in motorway service stations and branching out into cafes.
Greggs will supply a range of seven frozen savouries to troops in Gutersloh. These will be baked throughout the day by Greggs-trained NAAFI personnel and displayed in a Greggs branded savoury counter.
Greggs Chief Executive Ken McMeikan, a former Tesco and Sainsbury executive and Royal Navy veteran of the 1982 Falklands War, said if the 12-week trial was deemed a success the concept could be rolled out across the globe.
Shares in Greggs closed Friday at 500 pence, valuing the business at 506 million pounds ($822 million).