Greggs has raised its profit forecasts for the third time this year, on the back of the popularity of its vegan sausage roll.

In a trading update, Greggs said that total sales jumped 15.1% in the first 19 weeks of 2019, compared to a 4.7% rise during the same period the year before.

In addition, company-managed shop like-for-like sales jumped 11.1%, a huge rise on 2018’s 1% increase.

The bakery chain attributed the strong performance to the successful launch of its vegan sausage roll.

The firm has benefited from the marked rise in Veganism across the U.K, with many people turning to meat-free options over health concerns, or in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.

Commenting on the success of the vegan product, the company said in the trading update:

“This built on a strong finish to 2018 and was further boosted by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll. Sales since then have continued to grow very strongly, helped by the roll-out of vegan-friendly sausage rolls to all shops following limited availability in the early part of the year when demand outstripped supply.”

Greggs also said it opened 8 new shops across the period, as well as closing 22 locations.

Overall, the company said that on the back of strong sales figures, the board now expects annual underlying profits, before exceptional costs, to be ‘materially higher’ than previously anticipated.

Shares in Greggs (LON:GRG) are currently trading +13.85% as of 11:26AM (GMT).