Blog by Clive Schlee
Blog update 12th September 2017: Veggie fridge conclusions
The veggie fridge trial was met with a very encouraging initial response, so we kept them for the summer. While the fridges have certainly helped to raise awareness of our meat-free menu, we noticed that more customers actually choose veggie options when they are clearly labelled and integrated with meaty items, rather than segregated in a separate fridge.
The experiment begins to wrap up from today, and the fridges will make way for a new Autumn menu. In other veggie news, our third Veggie Pret shop is also in the making and due to open in October.
13th June 2017
Two years ago I invited you to vote on how Pret should respond to the growing interest in meat-free food. Should we open a vegetarian-only Pret, put a veggie fridge into every shop, or do nothing at all? Fridges narrowly won the vote but we couldn’t resist the bigger challenge for our chefs, so we opened a Veggie Pret pop up instead.
The results of 10,000 votes in our customer poll from July 2015
Since then we’ve opened two permanent Veggie Pret shops in London and taken our ‘Not Just For Veggies’ menu and campaign to Pret shops across the UK, US, Hong Kong and France. We’ve learned that vegetarian food has to be delicious to win over meat-eaters. Our chefs have focused on creating new recipes that are full of flavour, colour and texture. It seems to be working – quite surprisingly, over half of the customers in our Veggie Pret shops are meat-eaters; and new ranges such as our Veggie Boxes, packed with ingredients like turmeric cauliflower and sweet potato falafels, are out-selling meaty options.
Queues at the opening of our second Veggie Pret in Shoreditch
Our chefs have expanded Pret’s veggie and vegan offering to such an extent that we can now honour the outcome of the original vote: we will be installing veggie-only fridges in shops up and down the country for one month. If you like them, we’ll keep them in place for the summer.
The bold green fridges will be accompanied by monthly veggie and vegan Chef’s Specials and a new campaign which aims to encourage more meat eaters to try our veggie options. This approach does carry some risk and we are treading carefully. I’m curious if our veggie menu will appeal more or less to customers when highlighted in a single fridge. Will it attract or deter our regular meat-eaters? We’ll be monitoring your feedback and the sales very closely. Who knows… Perhaps it will help us find the best location for our next Veggie Pret?
We could hold all the focus groups we like but there’s really only one way to find out… let the next veggie trial begin!