In an interview with Forbes, Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret has said that the company ‘may have underestimated how strong the vegan movement is.’ This comment was prompted by the revelation that ‘[t]he top selling eight new products at Veggie Pret are all vegan.’ This figure says a lot about the vegan movement and the change in the way that people are viewing animal products.
In previous years, vegetarianism has been a popular diet, and most people believed that it was decreasing the amount of harm caused to animals in the agricultural industry. However, as information on the egg and dairy industries becomes more readily available to the public, people are more inclined to ditch animal products altogether and vegetarianism has become somewhat of a ‘stepping stone.’
Even people who call themselves flexitarians or reductarians will try and eat meals completely devoid of animal products several times a week, rather than just ditching the meat. Pret’s figures appear to be a reflection of this change in consumer choices.
Pret are leading the way for veggie convenience food in the UK, having opened up their first ‘Veggie Pret’ as a trial pop-up last year. The unexpected success has led to them opening a second store and they have already announced the impending launch of the third. They have also started to feature veggie only fridges in their stores across the world.
The demand for vegan products from mainstream outlets has been rapidly rising recently and Pret aren’t the only people to notice the increased need to provide plant-based products. Recently Walmart advised its suppliers that more vegan products were needed from them as the sale of vegan food products has grown a huge 8.1% over the past year alone.
Perhaps Pret’s success in vegan friendly products will encourage them to include even more plant-based options on their menu.
Image credit: Pret