Pret launches veggie poll

HIGH STREET chain Pret A Manger is asking customers how to improve its vegetarian offer. Thus far, 50% would like see a veggie fridge in every outlet, whilst 45% would like to see a purely veggie Pret store.

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“Recently, there has been a distinct shift towards vegetarian,” CEO Clive Schlee explained in his blog. “The top selling SuperBowl in our latest salad launch was Beets, Squash & Feta’, beating chicken, salmon and crayfish alternatives. This would have been unheard of five years ago.”


Awareness of the impact meat consumption has on the environment has increased markedly among consumers – from 14% in a 2007 Friends of the Earth survey to 31% in 2013, according to YouGov research. An Eating Better poll last year showed a third of consumers are willing to consider cutting back, but only a fifth actually have.


Chicken Caeser & Bacon remains the group’s best-seller and Schlee is keen to highlight the headaches either of the suggested approaches could bring. “How can Pret help people to enjoy more vegetarian food without being preachy, or worse still, alienating our customers?” he wrote.


Pret has spied a market opportunity that could put the company ahead of the game. Ikea has launched vegetarian ‘meatballs’ in its canteens, but many brands still fear that less meat means fewer customers.