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Case Details

Case Code: MKTG376
Case Length: 9 Pages 
Period: 2015-2017   
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Organization : Pret A Manger (Europe) Ltd.
Industry : Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry
Countries : UK, Global
Themes: Marketing Management/Marketing Research
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Pret A Manger`s Test Marketing of a New Product Line

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Pret was a company that had mostly offered a meat-based menu and was performing well. The sales for FY 2015 at GBP 676 million had grown by almost 13.9%. It was observed that 14% of the total sales of the company were from new products. (Refer to Exhibit I for comparison of sales of Pret A Manger for the FY 2013 to 2016).

However, the company observed that rather than the meat-based dishes, a large part of its growth had come from the increased demand for vegetarian dishes with avocados being the most popular ingredient. It was observed that Pret’s ‘Super Bowls’ product range launched in 2015, included a vegetarian product (beetroot, squash, and feta salad) that had sold 17,000 units per week – far ahead of the meaty options. Speaking on the growing popularity of vegetarian dishes at the chain, Clive Schlee (Schlee), ..

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Unlike its competitors, Pret did not indulge in traditional advertising. Julia Monro (Monro), Head of Social Media and PR at Pret, said, “You’ll never see a (Pret A Manger) print ad or outdoor advertising.”..


Pret’s original plan was to experiment with its Veggie Pret for four weeks. During the period, it expected sales to drop by 30%, as it was unsure about customer reaction. But after the first two weeks itself, the actual sales at the store increased by 70% and continued throughout the summer of 2016. Schlee added, “We had expected sales in the shop to decline as a result of the pop-up, after the massive hype of the first two weeks, sales at Veggie Pret are still well up on where they were before the conversion.” ..


With the success of the “Not Just for Veggies” campaign in the UK, a global launch of the campaign was taken up by Pret at all its stores. In February 2017, Pret launched the ‘Not Just for Veggies’ campaign in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, consumers were found to be moving toward less meat intake, apart from increasing their consumption of organic foods. Yumi Lee, Commercial Director at Pret Asia, said, “Hong Kong is seeing a growing demand from customers for fresh, healthy, naturally-made food which doesn’t contain meat.”..


Pret planned an IPO toward the end of 2017, buoyed by the increased sales and the potential to start new stores. However, the company later put these plans on hold owing to the unfavorable conditions for fast food industry stocks. Moreover, Pret was expected to face future challenges related to recruitment of new employees, as a result of the changed trading relationship of Britain with the rest of the EU..


Exhibit I: Comparison of Sales of ‘Pret A Manger’ for FY 2013 to 2016
Exhibit II: Number of ‘Pret A Manger’ Stores Worldwide from 2013 to 2016