Popular UK-based restaurant and international chain Pret a Manger says it will open 14 Veggie Pret locations this year.
The sandwich chain says the new branches will all be open by the end of this summer.
Last year, Pret revolutionized its menu for the first time in 33 years by introducing 20 new recipes. The menu overhaul included eight vegan dishes and five vegetarian options. It also revealed plans to buy out and convert its rival café chain, EAT, into Veggie Pret locations.
EAT owned 94 locations across the UK. Pret said it would begin converting “as many as possible” in an attempt to meet the growing demand for more vegan options.
“The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarians and vegan customers who want delicious, high quality food and drink options,” Pret CEO Clive Schlee said in a statement.
Veggie Pret’s plant-based menu options include a large selection of sandwiches and wraps— including the Falafel & Hummus, Harissa Carrot & Hummus, and Avo, Olives, & Toms—salads, and other snacks like the vegan Dark Chocolate and Almond Butter Cookie and the Moroccan Hummus Pot.
Plant-Based Dining Surges in Popularity in 2020
Pret’s foray into offering plant-based dining options comes on the heels of the growing trend of vegan fast food options.
UK-based vegan charity Veganuary revealed its 2020 campaign was largely successful, with more than 400,000 people pledging to eat a vegan diet for the month of January. In comparison, 250,000 participants signed up in 2019 and 170,000 in 2018.
Countless vegan fast food options began popping up last year—including KFC’s vegan chicken sandwich, Subway’s Beyond Meatball Marinara sandwich, and Burger King’s beefless Impossible Whopper—and more are expected to make their debut in order to satisfy the growing demand for vegan options.
“Our new range is big on vegan food and veg. There’s a real emphasis on that because that’s what customers want,” said Hannah Dolan, Pret’s head of food development.
Pret a Manger opened its first Veggie Pret outlet in London in 2016. There are now seven Veggie Pret branches open—six of which are located in central London.