A ‘Greggs sausage roll index’ has been set up to assess how the cost of living crisis is affecting different parts of the UK.
The index measures how long people in each town have to work to afford a roll of sausage from the Newcastle-based bakery chain. He revealed that people in Lichfield, Staffordshire, had to work the longest at four minutes and 54 seconds, nearly two minutes longer than people in London, who earned their highest £1.05 salty snack quickly to two minutes and 58 seconds.
Personal finance website InvestingReviews.co.uk commissioned economist John Hawksworth to study 100 cities and towns across the UK, using official data to expose regional inequalities in purchasing power. Although slightly ironic, he said the “roll-onomics sausage” could be used as a tool to compare living standards across the country.
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The fastest sausage rolls were mainly in the South East, with London followed by Oxford, Slough, Guildford and Derby. The other end of the index was more geographically spread, with Lichfield followed by Middlesbrough, Nuneaton, Truro and Hereford (all in four minutes and 48 seconds for a sausage roll).
Greggs’ hometown of Newcastle is the fastest place in the North East to win a sausage roll at three minutes and 46 seconds, which puts him 30th on the national list. Everywhere else in the North East was ranked in the bottom half of the national table with Sunderland and Gateshead coming in 88th and 89th (both just over four and a half minutes).
The Sausage Roll Index is inspired by the Big Mac Index, published by The Economist since 1986 to compare the purchasing power of different nations based on the amount of labor needed to afford a McDonalds burger.
Mr Hawksworth, former chief economist at accounting giant PwC, said: ‘Part of the analysis is a bit amusing with the sausage roll replacing the Big Mac as the standardized product for comparing purchasing power between different places. But it also seriously underlines that there are very wide variations in income levels between our towns and cities.
“These local income gaps are due to variations in productivity between places that reflect deep disparities in education, opportunity and infrastructure across the country. Closing these income gaps remains one of the most significant economic challenges facing current and future governments.
InvestingReviews.co.uk CEO Simon Jones said: “Amidst all the government talk of upgrading, a big divide still exists across Britain today, Greggs customers in some areas typically having to work 65% longer than Londoners just to be able to afford a sausage roll.
The index was based on local estimates of median hourly earnings provided by the Office of National Statistics, with adjustments made for the latest wage growth figures. It does not include the price of sausage rolls at the Oil Forecourt and Greggs Travel Center concessions, which are sometimes more expensive and therefore considered “outlier sausage rolls”.
Greggs warned earlier this year that its prices may have to rise as it faces higher costs for materials and personnel in its stores.