As temperatures soar, Pret A Manger’s latest addition to its North East outlets is set to prove a perfect chilled-out option for vegetarians.
The sandwich chain has picked Newcastle and Durham to be among the first cities in the UK to launch vegetarian-only fridges.
And if the month-long trial proves a hit, the region may even see the first Veggie Prets outside London.
The company has come up with the idea in response to the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan food and its new stand-out green fridges aim to make non-meat choices clear and easy to identify.
But they’re out to lure meat-eaters too.
The idea is to keep the fridges in place for the summer – if they are popular – and to monitor feedback and sales.
And it they prove a winner, the trial could even help influence the location of any future Veggie Prets – outlets dedicated solely to vegetarian food.
There are already two in London, following the success of a pop-up venue which was set up in response to a customer poll, and more than half of those they serve have turned out to be meat-eaters, tempted by new ranges such as the Veggie Boxes which include the likes of turmeric cauliflower and sweet potato falafels.
At the time, the company’s chief executive officer Clive Schlee said: “Put simply, vegetarian food has to be delicious if it is to gain more traction.”
So, the Pret chefs have been focused on creating recipes full of flavour, colour and texture and its Not Just For Veggies menu now appeals to both vegetarians and meat-eaters in its shops both across the UK and abroad.
Alongside the vegetarian-only fridges, and the usual Pret menu of sandwiches and salads, the chain is offering a monthly veggie and vegan Chef’s Special alongside a campaign to encourage more meat-eaters to give it a go.
Restaurants and cafes in the North East, meanwhile, are responding to the growing number of vegetarians and vegans, with the likes of Super Natural in Grainger Street, Newcastle, dedicated to providing a totally meat-free menu of food and drink.