Pret A Manger reports strong growth in 2016, with sales up 15%. Highlights include veggie innovation and an increase in non-core missions across day parts...
Another year of growth for Pret
Pret's financial results for 2016 mark the 12th year of revenue and earnings growth. Pret reports total sales of £776.2m, up 15% from 2015. Like-for-like sales were up 4.8% compared to 2015, and EBITDA up 11% to £93.2m.
Pret continues to expand with 50 new shops opened globally, including shops opening in key locations and transport hubs including Penn Station in New York, Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and one in Dubai International Airport. In 2016, 16% of all sales came from airport and train station shops and Pret's Heathrow T5 location generates the highest sales worldwide.
Increase in missions outside lunchtime
Pret is well-known as a popular lunchtime destination but has grown its focus on non-core missions with an increase in healthy snacking, breakfast and hot meal options. Lunchtime now accounts for less than half of all sales, with 59% of sales coming from other day parts. Pret has increased its number of breakfast options with a number of new porridge and brioche roll options. Croissants remain Pret's number one product, with 16 million sold in 2016.
'Veggie Pret' a highlight of 2016
The success of its 'Veggie Pret' format was a highlight for Pret last year. The pop-up in Soho was made permanent following positive customer response and a 70% increase in sales. Its success prompted Pret to open a second branch in Shoreditch in April this year. Pret US has also seen increased demand for meat-free products and launched a new vegetarian range and 'Not Just for Veggies' campaign this week.
It is not just vegetarians and vegans who are opting for the new concept - according to Pret, 52% of Veggie Pret customers are meat-eaters looking to cut down. The 'flexitarian' diet trend is tipped to be one of the most popular for 2017, with consumers looking to reduce their meat intake for health and sustainability reasons, rather than cut it out all together.
Adapting its menu to the growing demand for 'free from'
Pret has always been a leader in the market for fresh and healthy food-to-go options, and last year it continued to innovate quickly by adapting its menu to meet the growing demand for 'free from' products. 'Free' is now one of the most used words amongst food marketers and a growing number of consumers are following avoidance diets either for health reasons or a desire for simple, natural, better-for-you foods. Pret's most popular new ingredient in 2016 was coconut milk, which now outsells soya and its dairy-free coconut porridge now accounts for one in five porridge sales in the UK. It also introduced a new soup range that is both dairy free and gluten free.
On track to grow its global estate
The total number of shops increased from 399 to 444 at the end of 2016, trading from six countries - the UK, US, France, Hong Kong, China, and Dubai. Net shop openings represented growth of over 11%, and the food-to-go specialist has said that it is on track to grow its global estate to 500 in 2017. The US, in particular, has been growing at pace: in 2016 Pret's US sales increased by 14% to become a $200m business, with particularly strong growth from the breakfast mission.
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|Holly Browne is a Retail Analyst at IGD, specialising in research in the convenience, food-to-go and online channels. To learn more about how IGD's research can benefit your business further, please get in touch - [email protected]