​Pret A Manger Bids Farewell to Veggie-Only Stores in Strategic Overhaul

​Pret A Manger Bids Farewell to Veggie-Only Stores in Strategic Overhaul

Posted by Emma on 8th Feb 2024

Pret A Manger, the renowned sandwich chain, has announced it will transform its remaining vegetarian-exclusive outlets into standard branches, signalling an end to its Veggie Pret experiment. Launched in 2016 as a testament to its commitment to offering substantial vegetarian and vegan options, Veggie Prets was initially established in response to the growing demand for meatless diets driven by health considerations and environmental concerns. However, with vegetarian and vegan options now widely embraced across all Pret A Manger locations, the company has decided that the specialised stores are no longer necessary.

Katherine Bagshawe, Pret A Manger's UK Food and Coffee Director, highlighted that a third of all main meals sold across the chain are now either vegetarian or vegan. This shift has led the company to declare that "every Pret is a Veggie Pret," underscoring the integration of vegetarian and vegan options throughout its menu. The Veggie Pret outlets, notably in London and Manchester, have served as innovation hubs, introducing popular meat-free products such as the "VLT" sandwich and the meatless meatball hot wrap, quickly becoming a top seller across the entire chain.

The move to phase out Veggie Prets is part of Pret A Manger's broader post-pandemic strategy to expand into regional towns and cities beyond London, marking a pivot in its operational focus. This strategy has seen new openings in Bishop's Stortford, Colchester, and Worthing as the company aims to reach a broader customer base.

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Despite the closure of its vegetarian-only stores, Pret A Manger's commitment to offering diverse dietary options remains steadfast. The company's transition reflects a broader trend in the food industry, where the demand for vegetarian and vegan products has surged, albeit with challenges, including competition in the meat-substitute market and the financial sustainability of exclusively vegan ventures.

Owned by JAB Holding, a German conglomerate, Pret A Manger has continued to grow, opening 41 new outlets in the UK last year alone. The decision to integrate Veggie Pret offerings into all its stores reaffirms the brand's dedication to providing accessible and appealing vegetarian and vegan choices, catering to the evolving preferences of its customers. The final Veggie Pret stores set for conversion are on Broadwick Street and Great Eastern Street in London. Deansgate in Manchester marks the end of an era but also the beginning of a more inclusive approach to menu diversity across all Pret A-Manger locations.

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