A stock trading app popular with UK millennials saw a spike in interest in Greggs shares after the bakery chain announced the launch of its vegan sausage rolls.
Greggs (GRG.L), a British bakery chain known for its traditional, meat-heavy menu, announced it was launching a vegan sausage roll at the start of the month. The launch sparked a huge amount of conversation on Twitter and backlash from conservative commentators such as Piers Morgan.
However, the move appears to have been popular with millennials. As well as selling out across the country, young investors put their money behind the company after the announcement. Freetrade, a free stock trading startup, told Yahoo Finance UK that interest in Greggs spiked after the launch of the new snack.
Viktor Nebehaj, Freetrade’s chief marketing officer, said: “It used to be not even in the top 50 search terms. That day, second of January, it was in the top three keywords” behind ETF and Apple.
Nebehaj said just over 2% of Freetrade’s customers bought Greggs stock in the first week of January.
“We took a look at an equivalent week in December and it was 0.2%, so it 10Xed pretty much,” he said.
Freetrade has around 11,000 users in the UK. Their average age is 30 and over 80% of users are aged 18 to 34.
Nebehaj said: “I think there is this cultural difference between millennials and older generations. I think millennials are just more sensitive to certain trends, like Veganism for example.”
Adam Dodds, the CEO and founder of Freetrade, said customers are also interested in Beyond Meat, an LA-based meat alternative startup backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Gates. The startup announced plans to list in New York last November.
“In our community we ask people what stocks they want us to add to the universe and Beyond Meat has been very much up there even though it’s pretty much a niche stock,” he said. “It hit a chord with our user base for sure.”
Millennials who jumped into Greggs when the vegan sausage roll was announced on January 2 have already been rewarded: the stock has rallied 18% since the start of the month, helped by an upbeat trading statement on January 9.
Oscar Williams-Grut covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at @OscarWGrut.