Pret a Manger is to run a "call to arms" marketing campaign to promote its range of vegetarian options after a public vote decided against opening standalone veggie stores.
Almost 10,000 took part in the vote with 52 per cent in favour of a vegetarian fridge versus 44 per cent in favour of an exclusively vegetarian Pret and just 4 per cent for the status quo.
In a blog post published today (14 August) chief executive Clive Schlee said that people were "stimulated by the idea and the fact that a large high street retailer should put it out there," referring to Pret's exploration of vegetarian customer's needs.
"Their responses were full of good sense and a touching affection for Pret," he wrote. "Several themes came through clearly. Voters against a single vegetarian shop argued that it wouldn’t help the vast majority of our customers. They warned us that it might not make commercial sense. Many people commented that isolating vegetarians did not feel right. There was a strong call to arms from vegans, a movement that is clearly growing in popularity".
— Kate Holder (@katefholder) August 2, 2015
@Cliveschlee Please, please, please, make more vegan options available. Options suitable for vegans will also be suitable for vegetarians. — Ginette Hardwick (@Gardencomet) August 4, 2015
— Shivani Joshi (@sjoshi22) July 30, 2015
"Consulting our customers via social media is a new experience for us and I have found it very positive (so far!)" added Schlee.
As a result of the feedback, Pret will increase the number of vegetarian and vegan products it sells as well as improve labelling to make vegetarian and vegan dishes clearer on shelves, test a vegetarian fridge in one of its shops and explore converting an existing Pret into a vegetarian Pret for a few weeks next summer to "test the water".