Pret faces questions after axing smoothies and frappes

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Pret faces questions after axing smoothies and frappes

Related tags Pret Casual dining Multi-site QSR Pret a manger

Pret A Manger is facing questions over its coffee subscription after announcing smoothies and frappes are being scrapped from its range.

The company announced yesterday it was revamping its iced drinks range, in what it described as its 'biggest drinks innovation in over five years'.

The new drinks, which will be available in more than 90% of shops from April, will expand on current iced coffee and tea options, but will see frappes and smoothies scrapped altogether.

A source close to Pret told MCA​, BigHospitality​'s sister site, around 80% of subscription customers do not currently order smoothies or frappes.

The company said the products were being removed in order to prepare for the rollout of the new iced drinks, and were not related to cost or difficulty in producing the drinks for subscribers.

However, the group has faced questions over the lack of availability of the drinks in its shops, with the BBC reporting Pret has received 5,000 complaints about the subscription offer.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has previously advised Pret to ensure the ads for its subscription are representative of what is available across its estate.

Ex-staff have told the BBC​ of the difficulty in meeting service time targets when smoothies are available on subscription.

One staff member told the BBC​: “For the company it’s much more expensive to provide smoothies - fruit juice, fruit - and it takes time to make them. There’s far too much demand from subscribers. The company will replace them with iced drinks - not blended - which take much less time to make and are cheaper.”

The coffee subscription costs £25 a month, with the first month £12.50, and customers are able to cancel at any time.

MCA​ understands the offer, which won praise in the industry for saving jobs during Covid, has been profitable for Pret, with the average subscriber redeeming a drink around five times a week.

Users can redeem up to five times a day, with a half hour gap required between each drink.

Its userbase is split fairly evenly between London residents, people commuting into the city, and those living and redeeming the offer outside the capital.

Pret has also been able to use customer data to identify areas where subscribers to make decisions on opening new shops, such as Chiswick and Beckenham.

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