Pret A Manger has announced that it is set to acquire rival snack chain EAT.
In a boost to the fresh produce industry, Pret said that it planned to convert as many of EAT's shops as possible to Veggie Prets, in response to growing consumer demand for more vegetarian and vegan options on the high street.
The first permanent Veggie Pret was opened in September 2016 and has since expanded to three further locations across London and Manchester. Pret said the acquisition will significantly accelerate the growth of the brand.
Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: “The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers who want delicious, high-quality food and drink options. We have been developing the Veggie Pret concept for over two years and we now have four hugely successful shops across London and Manchester. The acquisition of the EAT estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it.”
Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT, added: “EAT’s passionate and talented team are what make the business; their commitment to providing our customers with great food and excellent service is at the heart of the company’s outstanding recent performance. I am delighted that their efforts have been recognised through this transaction.
"It has been a privilege to lead EAT for the past three years, and I believe this acquisition creates new opportunities for employees and customers alike.”