22 May 2019 | UK

Pret vies for vegetarian and vegan spend after acquiring rival EAT

UK-based food-to-go chain plans to accelerate the development of its ‘Veggie Pret’ sub-brand by converting ‘as many of EAT’s shops as possible’ into the vegetarian and vegan sub-brand

Pret A Manger plans to "turbo charge" its Veggie Pret brand, which currently operates four permanent UK stores

UK food-to-go chain Pret A Manger has agreed to acquire high street rival, EAT’s 90+ UK stores. Pret, which was acquired by German conglomerate, JAB Holdings in June 2018 for a rumoured £1.5bn, operates more than 380 UK stores and plans to convert 'as many of EAT’s shops as possible' into its ‘Veggie Pret’ concept. Launched in September 2016, Pret currently operates its vegetarian and vegan sub-brand at four permanent sites in London and Manchester.

“The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers who want delicious, high quality food and drink options,” said Pret CEO, Clive Schlee.

“The acquisition of the EAT estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it,” he added.

The move outlines the growing importance of vegetarian and vegan spend in UK coffee shops. Value-focused food-to-go rival, Greggs, has credited its highly successful vegan sausage roll with helping to generate strong high street sales. 

Pret A Manger is the second largest food-focused café brand in the UK after Greggs with around 380 stores. Allegra data shows the acquisition of EAT’s 90+ store portfolio will increase Pret’s share of the UK food-focused market to around 17%.
 

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