World Animal Protection’s exclusive interview with Pret a Manger.
Last week Pret a Manger introduced its new “Veggies for All” menu that featured 14 new plant-based products and new non-dairy alternatives nationwide. The announcement came on the heels of multiple discussions with World Animal Protection, as well as a positive influence campaign where supporters urged the UK-based sandwich chain to expand plant-based options.
We were delighted to share this news with our supporters and recently had the opportunity to interview a representative from Pret about the new delicious plant-based products.
Q: Please tell us about the latest plant-based offerings at Pret? How many locations will be serving these new plant-based items?
A: Pret A Manger’s new “Veggies for All” menu is available across all Pret stores nationally, featuring freshly-made plant-based options such as the Roasted Pepper, Feta & Olive Focaccia Sandwich, Eggplant (No) Parm Hot Wrap and the Harissa Carrot & Feta Baguette. These items will join Pret’s existing lineup of delicious and colorful salads, juices, Pret pots and more!
Q: Please tell us about the latest dairy alternatives being added to Pret’s menu?
A: With the new menu, Pret is now offering organic oat m*lk, in addition to almond. These are available free of charge — just like all of our other plant-based m*lks.
Q: What is the key motivator behind expanding plant-based and dairy-free options?
A: Pret’s mission is to provide joy through good food and organic coffee. We know that everyone has different dietary preferences so we want to offer more veggie and vegan options that are fresh, filling, and delicious, and most importantly, can be enjoyed by everyone.
Q: Has Pret seen an increase in customer demand for plant-based items?
A: Our customers have been asking for more vegan and vegetarian menu items, so we’re excited to be able to incorporate more delicious, filling, and innovative veggie options into our menu. With the “Veggies for All” menu, our customers will be introduced to a new range of veggie-forward products, sure to satisfy everyone’s dietary preference.
Q: Pret was the first high street chain in the UK to introduce a complete veg range and veg-only stores and was widely praised for doing so. Do you see the Veggie Pret concept ever being a success in the US?
A: For this new menu, we pulled inspiration from the recipes that were developed for Veggie Pret in London and encourage everyone - whether they’re a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian (and meat-eaters!) - to stop by Pret in the new year to try our new, delicious veggie-based menu. And who knows, maybe the next step will be a Veggie Pret in the US!
Q: What do you see as the biggest differences between the UK and US in terms of customer responses to plant-based offers?
A: Unlike many food trends that begin here and work their way across to the UK, they are really leading the charge with Vegan and Vegetarian dietary offers because consumers there are demanding it in an even stronger way than they are here. However, we are hoping we can be a catalyst to increase people’s engagement and demand for delicious plant-based food.
Q: Do you foresee Pret introducing more plant-based and dairy-free items in the future?
A: Pret plans to continue expanding its plant-based and dairy-free options throughout the year.
Q. Can you tell us about Pret’s animal welfare position?
A. How our food is farmed, harvested, and delivered matters to us. That is why we follow only the highest practical levels of animal welfare and environmental stewardship.
We are proud to partner with Niman Ranch where all of their pork products are Certified Humane by the HFAC. Niman Ranch focuses on sustainable farming traditions and livestock raising practices, which balance the needs of today and tomorrow.
Our US chicken is already farmed to standards above the norm by a GAP level 2 supplier, but we are committed to further improving conditions for broiler chickens in our US supply chain. This means increased environmental enrichment including light and litter improvement in the facilities that house chickens, more space for the birds to move in (stocking density) in those facilities, and the way in which chickens are processed.
Pret’s commitment to offering customers delicious plant-based options is great news for the billions of animals suffering at factory farms.
Meat reduction has the potential to put an end to some of the cruelest factory farming practices, such as extreme confinement, the overuse of antibiotics, and brutal mutilations. By reducing the demand for meat, World Animal Protection expects that factory farming will be phased out. As overall meat demand declines, a shift towards family farming and practices that are more sustainable and kinder to animals will replace cruel practices.
What can you do to help save animals from factory farms? By reducing your meat intake and only consuming animal products from small family farms, you can help protect the planet, your health, and countless animals.