Food | Greggs Taste Test

Greggs Summer Salad

This summer Greggs launched a range of new salads, available in stores across the country. Famous for their sausage rolls, chicken bakes and cream finger doughnuts, Greggs have brought their menu up to date, appealing to a wider audience with fresh and healthy alternatives, whilst remaining great value for money!

The new range includes Cheese, Tomato & Basil Pasta Salad, Honey Roast Ham, Free Range Egg & Potato Salad and Chargrill Chicken, Roast Vegetable & Grains Salad. To celebrate the launch, Greggs challenged me to complete a taste test, comparing one of their salads to a similar salad at each of their main competitors – Pret, Starbucks, Boots and M&S.

I decided to set me challenge with the Greggs Chargrill Chicken, Roast Vegetable & Grains Salad, as this appealed to me most. To make the taste test as fair as possible, I had to source a salad at each of the competitors, that was as close in ingredients as possible to the Greggs salad. Of course no two competitors make the exact same dish, but I was able to find a salad from each, that at the very least, included both chicken and grains.

The salads include:

  1. Greggs – Chargrill Chicken, Roast Vegetable & Grains Salad – £3 225g
  2. Pret  – Greens, Grains & Chicken Salad – £4.75 227g
  3. Starbucks – Buttermilk Chicken & Mango Salad – £4.99 310g
  4. Boots – Moroccan Style Chicken Couscous Salad – £3 225g
  5. M&S – Harissa Chicken & Couscous Salad – £3 225g

Each salad was marked against the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics
  • Freshness
  • Nutrition
  • Taste
  • Value

Greggs Taste Test

Aesthetics:

I found Pret and Starbucks to be the most visually pleasing, with their use of cardboard packaging and clear plastic lid. The Starbucks salad was also arranged beautifully inside its packaging, with each ingredient clearly visible through the lid. Although Pret’s packaging looked good, it was messier to open, with the salad having moved around inside the box.

Greggs packaging also featured a clear plastic lid, with the ingredients clearly visible and arranged prettily. It was also easy to open, however the plastic pot of dressing let it down slightly. Both M&S and Boots opt for plastic packaging, making it the salad look cheaper when compared to the other brands.

  • Greggs 4/5
  • Pret 5/5
  • Starbucks 5/5
  • Boots 2/5
  • M&S 3/5

Greggs Taste Test

Freshness:

Almost all of the salads look and tasted super fresh, apart from Boots which lacked the same bright colours as the others. I also found the couscous in the Boots salad to be very dry and clumpy, the lettuce was limp and the chicken dry – a big thumbs down all round!

Greggs, Pret and Starbucks looked as though their salads had been prepared the same day. Slices of cucumber and red pepper were crispy and juicy, whilst the avocado in the Pret salad was perfectly ripe and hadn’t begun to brown.

Although the M&S salad was packaged different to the others, making it look less fresh, the ingredients were all full of flavour and the chicken was beautifully succulent. Therefore I’ve had to score all except Boots with a glowing 5/5.

  • Greggs 5/5
  • Pret 5/5
  • Starbucks 5/5
  • Boots 1/5
  • M&S 4/5

Nutrition:

Boots salad claims to hold 1 of your 5 a day, which I don’t contest, but considering it’s lack of flavour and quality ingredients, I didn’t feel that it was particularly healthy for me. Whereas the M&S salad was packed full of beans and pulses, adding great flavour and an alternative to the usual salad favourites.

I loved that the Greggs salad included pine nuts (major bonus points) and different grains, however the dressing was very rich and overpowering, and did have an amber sign highlighted for salt. It also contains almost 10g of sugar! Whereas the Pret salad only contains 1.9 grams of sugar. Pret’s salad also felt a lot healthier to eat, mainly due to the exceptional amount of greens included.

However when comparing calories, Pret is higher with 258 calories, compared to 235 with Greggs.

  • Greggs 4/5
  • Pret 4/5
  • Starbucks 4/5
  • Boots 3/5
  • M&S 4/5

Greggs Taste Test

Taste:

Taste wise, I personally preferred both Pret and Starbucks salads. Pret in particular included a delicious green dressing which complimented the salad perfectly. It also included lots of great textures with crunchy broccoli, nuts and seeds, and the chicken was super tender.

Starbucks salad also contained a variety of textures and flavours, and I loved the addition of chopped mango. However, personally I didn’t like the sugar snap peas included. I felt these didn’t fit with the rest of the salad and were difficult to eat without a knife. I don’t particular like sugar snap peas regardless though.

The salad ingredients in the Greggs salad bowl were fantastic. The salad leaves were super fresh, the chicken succulent and the grains held great texture and flavour, but unfortunately I found the dressing to be too over powering. I stupidly poured it all over, when really I probably only needed half of it.

The Boots salad really didn’t taste great at all. Not only were the ingredients dry and limp, everything was pretty tasteless. The dressing was so thick that it was impossible to coat the salad properly, meaning only parts of the salad that touched the dressing had any flavour. Really disappointing!

I loved the flavours in the M&S salad and felt that the seasoning of the harissa chicken worked perfectly with the beans.

  • Greggs 4/5
  • Pret 5/5
  • Starbucks 4/5
  • Boots 1/5
  • M&S 4/5

Value:

The price point of each salad was where it got really interesting. Greggs, Boots and M&S were identical in price and weight – £3 for 225g. I was surprised to find M&S priced at as little as £3. I naturally thought it would’ve been more. Considering the Boots salad failed on so many other aspects, it was very over priced for what it contained!

The Pret salad only contained a few more grams in weight, and yet the price was a lot higher at £4.75. I found this not to be surprising though, as I would naturally price Pret higher and the salad did contain fantastic ingredients. However, personally I feel £4.75 is expensive for a salad.

Starbucks was even more expensive at £4.99 but was a bigger salad at 310g. Although it was slightly bigger, and looked a lot bigger because of it’s packaging, I was left feeling hungry shortly after and believe this is due the little amount of rice and chicken included. If you wanted to also buy a drink and a snack, Starbucks would set you back at least £10. Personally I find this ridiculously expensive for lunch.

Therefore both Greggs and M&S are the most valuable for money.

  • Greggs 5/5
  • Pret 3/5
  • Starbucks 1/5
  • Boots 2/5
  • M&S 5/5

Pret Super Green Salad

Looking at all the different aspects, the final scores are:

  1. Greggs 22/25
  2. Pret 22/25
  3. M&S 20/25
  4. Starbucks 19/25
  5. Boots 9/25

It’s a tie between Greggs and Pret! Pret is a long standing favourite of mine, so I guessed it would fair well, but Greggs has really opened my eyes. Greggs offers fantastic value for money, really fresh ingredients and overall when compared to the others, it looks just as good, if not more so. I’ll definitely be stopping by Greggs more often!

Have you tried any of Greggs salads? If so, what were your thoughts? Is Greggs somewhere you often think to go for lunch?

Share: