One in four Pret A Manger stores could go vegetarian-only

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Pret A Manger considers opening more vegetarian-only stores

Related tags Veganism Pret

Pret A Manger is considering opening more vegetarian-only stores following record sales at its first meat-free London site.

The company’s chefs have created 45 plant-based dishes for its ‘Little Veggie Pop-up’, which is running in Soho until 1 July.

Despite predictions that sales would drop by 30 per cent, Pret CEO Clive Schlee wrote in a blog post​ that takings at the veggie store were already up 70 per cent year-on-year.

He said: “The shop is packed and this is the first time I have seen customers in London sitting on the floor to eat their lunch. The energy of the shop is also quite remarkable, in fact a friend of mine likened it to a Beyoncé concert (I’ve never been to one myself).”

The eight top selling new products are all vegan, with avocado dubbed the ‘star ingredient’.

Pudding sales are five times higher than in normal stores; with the dairy-free Chocolatey Coconut Bite (a vegan bar) and the Cacao & Orange Pot (a vegan dessert) outselling all other items.

Schlee wrote: “[This] shows that vegan dishes can be just as delicious as veggie dishes, or we have underestimated how strong the vegan movement is.”

Veggie expansion

Though the shop was originally set to close after four weeks, the group are considering extending its run to measure demand after the initial hype dies down.

Schlee added that the company was having ‘a big internal debate’ about the results, with some calling to convert every fourth Pret in to a veggie-only site.

He wrote: “Customers are taking photos of the food, writing down the ingredients, and giving us messages of overwhelming support on the Hit the Spot/Lost the Plot notice board. A meat free environment seems to generate an infectious positive energy.”

Schlee came up with the idea after sales of vegetarian items at Pret grew by double digits in 2015.

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