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Mere fashion then, eh?

Pret A Manger is axing almost all of its vegetarian-only stores as the novelty of meat-free branches wears off.

The sandwich chain is to shut or rebrand 75pc of its Veggie Pret stores six years after they first launched.

Four Veggie Pret stores have closed for good in recent months, while one in Canary Wharf has been converted into a regular Pret. The company is understood to be considering doing the same to two other branches in Manchester and London.

Doesn’t bode well for Beyond Meat, Impossible and all those then, does it?

Still, we’ve all got the insect only ones to still look forward to.

20 thoughts on “Mere fashion then, eh?”

  1. Anyone who browsed the yellow sticker ‘buy it or we bin it!’ shelves in the supermarkets could have told them there’s just not enough veggies and vegans out there to make it profitable…

  2. @JuliaM I tried the veggie burger from the supermarkets but only when the yellow labels were on them and hence it would not cost much. The burgers smell terrible before you cook them. One cooked the burgers are OK. On par with a MacDonalds burger. You do need cheese, onions, pickles and sauce to pep them up a bit (exactly like MacDonalds – their burgers are actually quite tasteless without the condiments).

    Stick to the real stuff. Tastes better and cheaper to boot. As for the Beyond Meat stuff: It is hard to make a truly unique veggie burger that is worth patenting. Too easy for any food company to coome up with their own veggie burger product and undercut the premium stuff.

  3. Beyond Meat (and equivalents) are options at almost every burger joint where I live.. so the direction of travel, thus far, is pretty clear.. and one sammich-hawker finding out that there’s no market for 100% meat-free sammich shops isn’t relevant at all.

    This does not tell us that people don’t want meat-free food. It tells us that they don’t want to get it from an unimpressive sammich shop that doesn’t sell anything else.

  4. I think we’re ignoring the fact that there won’t be a voluntary element to this changeover – look at the vaccine rollout and lockdowns? What ‘voluntary’ element was there about either?

    I’d expect meat and to come in the next decade certainly – in Scotland possibly in the next five years – not saying they won’t be ridiculously hard to actually implement but look at Oxford and Canterbury’s ‘15 minute cities’ and see what proponents think of democratic opposition.

    As Steve In Moscow says: ‘What part of you will own nothing and be happy’ don’t people understand? – their malign intentions are baked in…

  5. V_P What ‘voluntary’ element was there about either?

    That’s debateable. I’d agree that the pressure was tremendous but the coercion succeeded in large measure because people are pliant and in western countries were resistant to the idea that the government (writ large, to include approved experts, media messaging and the rest) are capable of lying to the populace at an heroic level.

    Interestingly, vaccine uptake was significantly lower in the East German Länder than in the West despite the lapse of thirty years since reunification. The official GDR newspaper Neues Deutschland was read not for the news but for a steer on what the state wanted the people to acccept as news.

    I wonder how long it will be until we start playing this kind of double bluff routinely in the ‘anglosphere’ where we tend to be more sceptical and obstinate than our rule-taking neighbours.

  6. Hard to see the need for specialisation in veggie only, offer more choice i suppose?
    I guess it might not be a total dead loss for Pret. they probably got a better idea of what goes down well with the veggies without all the noise of other customers and assuming it’s still a growing demographic that would be a positive.

  7. Most amusing thing was early April 2020
    Major Supermarket nearby basically all shelves empty except for vegi type and swimming pool stuff. Given that 2kg swimming pool stuff = 100 litres ? of White King household disinfsectant

  8. Vegan? Pooey!

    But a few times we’ve settled for “organic” food because it was all that was on the shelves. It’s always been pricier than what we were looking for. But, to our surprise, it was often better tuck i.e. more delish. I’m not so naive as to explain that by its claimed organicity but what is the explanation? Maybe that people who flash the cash on “organic” food simply demand that it taste better? There should be a Worstall column in this observation.

  9. TMB

    I take your point on there being an inordinate level of Compliance with the stupidity – I always ask people bemoaning the Cost of Living crisis if that means they back ‘Net Zero’ and lockdowns – if they do (and many do) quick to point out that they’re the two primary causes of the cost of living crisis.

    However, there was still a year long period (combined) which forbade me from having a pint – an outrage which I will never forgive and has made me wonder what else they have in store for us? Having seen countless adverts for the Metaverse that seems to be their vision of the future (powered by what exactly is never explained – maybe some kind of Matrix style setup) – where all activity will be virtual other than for the WEF approved elite.

  10. Still, we’ve all got the insect only ones to still look forward to.
    The edible insect shop in Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell foundered & closed some years ago. If anywhere it would have prospered, one would have thought Islington. So voluntarily unlikely. There’s always compulsion of course.
    On par with a MacDonalds burger. You do need cheese, onions, pickles and sauce to pep them up a bit (exactly like MacDonalds – their burgers are actually quite tasteless without the condiments).
    Since I started eating in McD’s in France, Belgium & Spain (initially because of wifi access) I’ve undergone a certain Samaratine conversion. They’re actually quite good & even the service is excellent. Table on occasions, if they’re not busy.
    I’d say it’s what Brits do to the fast food concept. Remove both the food & the fast & expect you to pay for what’s left.

  11. Sorry, it’s Damascene conversion isn’t it? Difficult not being a god-bother & that. I’ve no idea what either refer to.

  12. The edible insect delicatessen would have been so much more visually stimulating in that comment, wouldn’t it? Trays of fresh glistening beetles garnished with lettuce. Tubs of delicious weevil paté with that hint of garlic. Nets of wriggling live worms ready to be plunged into boiling water & served thermedore. Cockroach & mayonnaise baguettes for lunching at your desk.
    It wasn’t quite like that….but almost.

  13. BiS: AFAIR the French resisted MaccyDs for a long time but did make a much better job of it than the UK or US when they succumbed. Someone on here once said they use Charolais boeuf and Fourme d’Ambert fromage, but it might have been a joke. Nevertheless when we did holidays in France with the kids and patronised that establishment, the food was very good and the McFlurrys were leagues better than the crappy UK version.

  14. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Maccas and co in the UK are tasteless because they removed all salt from their products, Blair’s “government by fireside chat” did that.

    The same things in Europe are not quite so bland.

  15. Accidently bought then cooked a McSween Vegie Haggis once. Served, took mouthful and spat out

    The dogs ate it, albeit reluctantly – one refused

    Most veggie food is unhealty, ultra-processed, fat & additive laden poison

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