Pret A Manger’s veggie sales double

Fast food chain Pret A Manger announced its full year financial results on Tuesday, which revealed a growth in sales of its vegetarian options.

The company reported a 13.9% increase in sales of GBP676.2m for the 52 weeks to 31 December 2015, compared to GBP593.6 in the previous year, with Vegetarian sales achieving double digit growth.

EBITDA reached GBP84.3m, an increase of 14.5% year-on-year when compared to EBITDA of GBP73.6m in the previous year.

Pret said it is committed to serving healthy, handmade natural food and organic coffee. The company’s menu is constantly adapted to meet the growing demand for healthy options in the UK, with 14% of total sales arising from food and drink items that have been introduced in the last year. Its latest ranges include grain-based SuperBowl salads and the best selling option is a vegetarian Beets, Squash & Feta SuperBowl with sales of 17,000 per week, out-performing Pret’s chicken and salmon options.

Interest in vegetarian products is increasing and the company has engaged its customers in a social media debate, in which it asked how it could create more delicious vegetarian food. This resulted in 10,000 people voting on the subject which has spurred Pret to commit  to increasing its vegetarian choices and open a ‘veggie pop-up’ shop this summer.

During June this year, Pret will convert an existing Soho shop to become vegetarian only. The ‘veggie pop-up’ is being created challenge the company’s chefs to come up with delicious veggie and vegan food, as well as ask customers opinions on what they think should end up on Pret’s shelves permanently.

Chief executive of Pret A Manger, Clive Schlee, also announced in his blog that 19 April 2016 marks the launch of “Not Just For Veggies” campaign, which is intended to highlight that you don’t need to be vegetarian to enjoy eating meat-free foods.

Schlee added that: “Our chefs are working hard to replace over 40 meat and fish dishes with new and exciting ingredients. This entails hours of testing and lots of patience from our loyal suppliers. Our takings in the shop will probably drop, but the pop-up will signal that Pret is serious about providing veggie and vegan options. And who knows, we might just find the next bestseller in the process.”

Coffee also continues to be an important area of growth for Pret, with the company selling 1.5 million cups a week globally. In addition, Pret staff gave out more than one million free hot drinks last year, as part of the company’s alternative loyalty scheme based on the concept of ‘random acts of kindness’