Popular UK-based restaurant and international chain Pret a Manger has opened two new Veggie Pret stores.
The chain now has 10 Veggie Pret locations, nearly all are in London, with one other in Deansgate, Manchester. In February, it announced it will have 14 Veggie Pret locations by the 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.
The two new locations—in St Mary Axe and King William Street, London—are in former EAT stores.
EAT owned a total of 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 have popped up in recent months, including KFC’s vegan chicken sandwich, Subway’s Beyond Meatball Marinara sandwich, and Burger King’s beefless Impossible Whopper.
“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.