Pret has launched its most ambitious new product range to date, with the biggest menu shake-up in its history. It is introducing 20 new recipes, including its first gluten-free bread, open sandwiches, more salad pots and a lot of smashed avocado.
There are also new desserts and a bircher smoothie, while eight of the meals from the range are vegan, including two breakfast birchers, and five cater to vegetarians.
The changes reflect the UK’s changing tastes, with a lot of the new range designed to be eaten at any time of the day, it said.
Two thirds of Pret’s salad pots, like the Egg & Avocado Protein Pot, are eaten outside of lunchtime and the newly expanded range will ensure even more choice through breakfast, mid-morning, lunch and mid-afternoon, according to the company.
Inspired by food development trips around the world and evolving consumer tastes, Pret is also introducing a variety of new ingredients such as chilli salt and roasted chestnut mushrooms. The mushrooms are roasted for 55 minutes in a sticky tamari, miso and brown sugar marinade to deliver an umami flavour to two new vegan dishes.
Pret has also tackled a popular customer request over the past few years – gluten-free bread. After trying to find a supplier of gluten-free bread, Pret’s chefs gave up and decided to solve the problem in-house using their own recipe.
The bread is a result of nine months of development and 30 different recipes. It combines oat, teff, buckwheat and quinoa flours, with millet, red quinoa, sourdough and a dash of treacle. Pret’s food developer said the focus was on creating as clean a bread as possible and one that was also suitable for vegans, so the use of eggs were out, as well as allergenic ingredients like nuts. One experiment, which involved bi-carb soda and sunflower seeds, turned the seeds green and made the bread look mouldy, Food Spark was told.
The new range of open sandwiches will see Pret’s gluten-free bread topped with Chicken Caesar and Smashed Avo – a twist on Pret’s popular Chicken Caesar & Bacon Baguette and Chicken Avocado Sandwich. There are two vegan options too – a smashed avo with a sprinkle of chilli and red pepper salt and a wedge of lemon to finish, as well as a sweeter version with coconut yoghurt, berry compote and blueberries.
“We’re so excited to launch our colourful new spring menu, our biggest change in our history, which is a result of listening to what our customers want,” said Pret’s head of food development Hannah Dolan. “I’m particularly excited about our new salad pots and open sandwiches. Two-thirds of Pret products are now purchased outside of the lunchtime period, and we think these filling snacks and smaller meals will fit really well with our customers’ busy schedules.”
Salads and sweet treats
Menu highlights include Pret’s three new salad pots, which can make a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack – or side dish at lunch, it said. The range includes poke-inspired smoked salmon with edamame beans, diced mango, pickled cabbage and carrot on smashed avo; a vegan mushroom version with roasted mushrooms; and a chicken and smashed beets pot with a hard-boiled egg.
Pret’s four new salad boxes take inspiration from around the world, including a Cali-style Salmon Salad, a Greek Salad, an Asian-style Veggie Box and classically British Ham, Egg & Beet Salad.
The Cali-Style salad contains brown rice and red quinoa mixed with mango, mint and chilli which is then paired with smashed avocado and topped with edamame beans, before being finished with golden roast salmon topped with a sprinkle of coconut chips. Its Asian-inspired salad includes cos lettuce, long-stem broccoli, sweet roasted mushrooms, black rice, edamame beans, pickled cabbage and carrot and sesame seeds.
Meanwhile, its Greek salad combines tomatoes and red peppers with crumbly feta cheese, cucumber, black Kalamata olives, pickled onions and fresh dill, served with a pot of feta and oregano dressing.
For a sweet treat, there is a new Mocha Pot combining coconut yoghurt with chocolate and hazelnut sauce, organic espresso from Pret’s coffee machines and caramelised pecans, which will be joined by a brand-new Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake pot.
Chef’s specials join the menu from 9 April to 10 June too, like the Chicken & Pea Crush Baguette with added feta, cucumber, basil and mint.
For the veggie crowd
Veggie Pret also gets its own exclusive items in-store. There’s an open sandwich, with humous, red tapenade and basil leaves, finished with chargrilled peppers, creamy diced feta cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts.
Plus, a Bang Bang Broccoli salad with pickled cabbage and carrot, roasted sesame mayonnaise and Pret’s zingy green dressing, along with an Egg & Smashed Avo salad pot topped with feta cheese, edamame soya beans, pickled cabbage and carrot and finished with a sprinkle of chilli and red pepper salt.
There’s a new sandwich going into Veggie Pret outlets as well, a Humous & Chipotle Wrap, topped with sliced red peppers, crunchy carrot and mooli slaw, pickled cabbage and carrot and a handful of baby leaf spinach.
Banishing dairy from breakfast
The breakfast range has also been updated to cater to vegans.
There’s the Almond Butter & Berry Bircher, where its gluten-free granola is soaked with a coconut yoghurt dairy alternative, shredded apple and almond butter then topped with Pret’s Five Berry Compote, more shredded apple and caramelised pecans.
It joins the Tropical Bircher, with gluten-free granola soaked overnight in the coconut dairy with a mango and banana sunshine smoothie, passion fruit juice and shredded apple, while it’s then topped with diced fresh mango and coconut chips in the morning.
There are also new sandwiches for the veggie lovers, like the New Yorker on Rye, with mature cheddar, tangy mustard mayo, gherkins, pickled cabbage & carrot and finished with peppery rocket, but the meat-lovers aren't left out as they can get an Avo & Bacon breakfast baguette.
For the snackers, there’s a new Pret bar suitable for vegetarians with chunky almonds, shaved coconut, pumpkin seeds and sweetened dried cranberries bound together and baked, with a layer of dark chocolate coating the base.