Accordin tae the UN Food an Agricultur Organisation, the UK is the ‘fat man o Europe’. An tae ma mind, even mair concernin, Public Health England juist yestreen said owre hauf o bairns in some pairts o that country are dangerously owreweicht. I dinnae doot it’ll be ony different up here in Scotland. As it is, the nummer owreweicht o the adults population stauns at a min-bogglin 65%. This has increasit fae 52% in 1995. Ain o the heighest leevels among the OECD. Its frichtenin tae think o whaur war heidin! Yet its lik we’re blin tae aw the dangers.
Yet Greggs the Baiker, thon weel kent purveyors o pies, sausage rolls an sugary fried buns hiv decidit tae play Cupid on Valentine’s day in fower o their ootlets – ane o thim in Glesga.
I can juist hear thae famous last wurds. “Ma ain wee darlin dearie, hiv I no set up a rare treat fir ye! Im takin ye tae Greggs fir a romantic caundle-lit denner!”
Fans o greasy pastry, an thaim no worriet by the thocht o blockit airteries wull be even mair excited gin they see the bill o fare! Its makit up fae aw their Greggs favorits, but wi a wee Valentine twist! Fir exaimple, this is the main coorse: ‘Yer pick o signature Greggs puff pastry parcel, freshly baikit tae order an servit wi oven roastit spiced tattie slices, garnished wi a wheen o fresh apollo an spinach leaves’.
They’re gaen for it in a big wey tae! Turnin the selectit shops intae restaurants ‘designit fir romance’ their tables set wi cloots o white linen, an vases o bonnie flooers. Sin maist folk widnae feel romantic uner glarin strip lichts, the plan is tae hae ‘mood’ lichtin, caundles, an romantic classical muisic playin in the backgrun. An its aw gaen tae be preseentit in the style o fin dinin wi table service o the furst order. Nae staunin at the till in this howff!
It’s aw pairt o Greggs’ ettle tae hae us emotionally connectin wi their brand, an their scran. Celebrate Christmas wi them wi a festive sausage. Tak yer dearie there fir a romantic midden o pastry an icing on Valentines. It’ll be nae shock gin they stert daein catering at funerals. As we’re lowered doon in oor XL coffins, oor faimly can dicht the tears aff their faces wi Greggs napkins, toast oor memories wi Steak Bake.
Is it no ironic, in the teeth o aw the evidence an warnins anent oor unhealthy wey o eatin, an ootfit lik Greggs has still deleevirt its 17th quarter o sales growth; mair success in the food-tae-go mercat, daein up 132 stores tae mak thim intae ‘baikery-on-the-go’ shops, wi plans tae open 100 mair o the stores in 2018! Its plain tae see Greggs ken their mercat. Their shops locatit whaur they need tae be; appealin tae onybody in a hurry luikin fir somethin quick tae eat that’s tasty, cheap an satisfyin. An nooadays thats an awfy lot o folk.
Noo, we aw ken obesity is no juist aboot the unhealthy stuff we’re choosin tae tak intae oorsels as nourishmint. Lack o exercise amang baith adults an bairns is a muckle an verra importint pairt o it as weel. Greggs an their ilk are no responsible fir us sittin on oor backsides raither than movin aboot. But they certainly pruive that ye cannae rely on private firms tae gie a hoot aboot the health o their customers.
Greggs is pairt o the problem, a symptom o the disease. Mibbie ye cannae blame Greggs fir takin advantage o a nutritionally ignorant population. But tak advantage they certainly dae, an their grip on oor national diet is as ticht as oor arteries efter a poke o their sausage rolls.