Five million avocados later: Sales rise at Pret a Manger

Lynsey Barber
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Cappuccino Culture Threatens Traditional British Breakfast
Pret's not just for lunch - breakfast helps bring home bacon (Source: Getty)

Apparently we're a nation of carb-free avocado loving sandwich eaters.

The figures

Sales at the City's favourite lunch stop were up 13.9 per cent to £676.2m in 2015, or 7.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis, according to the company's annual results. US like-for-like sales alone grew 13.8 per cent.

That helped earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rise 14.5 per cent to £84.3m for the year to December.

Why it's interesting

The march of Pret continues, with 36 new shops opening around the world and new food options a hit with customers. Some 14 per cent of its sales came from newly introduced food, although it still sells 1.5m cups of coffee... a week. One million a year of those are free as part of Pret's "random act of kindness" loyalty scheme.

There's no better place to identify the trends in Britain's eating habits, and it seems the nation is shunning carbs - the majority of Pret's biggest sellers were non-bread products.

The Bridgepoint-owned chain said more than half of sales now come outside lunchtime, with rising demand for breakfast on the go. Sales of vegetarian items experienced double digit growth, while we ate more than five million avocados last year.

What Pret said

“These results represent another year of record sales for Pret. The highlights were a strong performance in the US – our newly opened Penn Station shop has the highest sales per square foot of any Pret in the world – and the opening of two very busy transport hub shops in Paris’ Gare de Lyon station and Nice Airport. Pret continues to grow steadily in the UK, adapting its menu to meet demand for healthy options,” said chief executive Clive Schlee

In short

Keeping the nation in coffee and avocados is Pret-ty lucrative

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