The UK coffee and food-to-go chain is shelving its plant-based concept eight years after its launch to focus on an expanded vegetarian and vegan menu across its 463 Pret A Manger stores
Non-meat products account for a third of all food sales across Pret’s 463 UK store network | Photo credit:
Pret A Manger will convert its remaining three Veggie Pret outlets to standard stores by the end of February 2024.
The UK-based coffee and food-to-go chain’s two remaining London Veggie Pret sites will be rebranded on 19 February with its Manchester store converting a week later.
Pret A Manger launched Veggie Pret as a pop-up store in London in June 2016 in response to growing consumer demand for cafés serving only non-meat products, with the concept reaching 10 sites across the UK by 2020.
The London-based business planned to expand Veggie Pret to over 90 stores following its May 2019 acquisition of EAT but the expansion didn’t materialise. Some of the existing stores, including a site in Canary Wharf, were rebranded with at least five locations shuttered in late 2022.
Despite shelving the concept, Pret A Manger said it remains committed to providing a wide range of vegetarian and vegan products, with non-meat products accounting for a third of all food sales across its 463 UK store network.
In its latest menu launch in January 2024, Pret A Manger rolled out the Veggie Pret VLT sandwich across its UK stores and unveiled new Sticky Mushroom Bánh Mì Baguettes, Butternut Masala Soup and veggie Meatless Meatball Marinara Hot Rolls.
“Every Pret shop is a Veggie Pret shop. Our original Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap was born in Veggie Pret, yet it became a top five bestseller across the whole of Pret within its first week of launching, showing us how customers across all our shops want amazing veggie food,” said Katherine Bagshawe, UK Food and Coffee Director, Pret A Manger.
World Coffee Portal research found that the appeal of plant-based food in UK coffee shops waned in 2023, with 36% of consumers surveyed stating there were no motivations for ordering meat-free products in-store, up from 32% the previous year.
The most commonly cited motivations for ordering meat-free food among consumers surveyed were environmental and ethical considerations. However, both resonated with fewer consumers surveyed last year than in 2022.