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Behind the Scenes

Pret Food Art Blog

9th June 2022

Behind the Scenes

Pret Food Art

Ever noticed our walls are adorned with pictures made of mushroom, melon, coconut, kiwi – all manner of delicious looking ingredients .

We call it food art and we spend a lot of time getting it right. In fact, you could say there’s an art to our food and food to our art… or something like that.

Well, thanks to our photographer friends Van Santen & Bolleurs, represented by the creative agency Pocko, we can give you a sneaky peek behind the scenes and tell (and show) you what goes on to create some fabulous food art.

Take a look at this video to see how a pain aux raisins becomes an alarm clock. How a sandwich becomes a wheelbarrow.

It all starts with what we want to say, then how we want to say it, and finally how we can bring that to life using our food and ingredients with everyday objects.

We imagine the food as if it’s that object, then we try out multiple ideas before creating the final piece, to be sure the idea we’ve chosen is the strongest it can be.

Open sandwiches are reimagined as skateboards, cookies become yoyos, lettuce becomes a globe, the list is as long as our imagination.

Then it’s time to see if the hatching of all these plans can work in reality – can a pain aux raisins really make a convincing alarm clock?

First we get making and baking. Then it’s time to get the alarm clock components out. We choose the best looking pain aux raisins, which is the perfect shape for a clock face (after all, freshly baked goods are all different), then get an assortment of bits and bobs ready – bells, clock hands, metal feet. They’re painstakingly attached to the tasty pastry, positioned just right and then ‘click’, photos are taken from all angles.

So what about a sandwich wheelbarrow? Well, it took a lot of guile and craft on the part of Van Santen. In their own words; ‘We quickly found out that there was no wheelbarrow in a scale that would match the size of the sandwich. So, we constructed it ourselves by bending metal tubes in the right scale to shape the frame and added a small wheel from the hardware store. All spray painted into the Pret colours.’ Our Classic Super Club sandwich fitted neatly into that frame, and voila! A sandwich wheelbarrow comes to life.

So, that’s how we made our sandwich wheelbarrow, but how did we turn our hand to our cookie yoyo? Well, cookies – particularly our yummy Chocolate Chunk cookies – are a fun snack to eat on the go, so what better way to represent this than a yoyo… for eating on the go go (admit it, George Michael is in your head now)? This also took some doing by Van Santen; ‘First we sourced the perfect yoyo string in the Pret hot pink colour. We baked dozens of cookies, selected the most beautiful ones with the best chocolate chunks and stuck them together with the bundle of string in the middle. We used metal wire to hold the string in the air and removed those rigs in post-production.

The end result: a delicious Pret yoyo.’

The shoot for all of these ideas took some time, as Van Santen told us; ‘Coming up with the ideas can take a while. We have several rounds of ideas and try out different product combinations.

Finding and building the right elements takes some time as well. Rigging, lighting and shooting can last up to a full day.

During this time we replace ingredients multiple times to make sure they keep looking fresh and tasty.’

The end result is some fabulous food art that will soon adorn the walls of a Pret near you.

And just think, if we put this much thought and passion into what you see on our walls, you can be sure we put vast amounts of thought and passion into every wrap, sandwich, baguette, and salad – to ensure it’s fresh and tasty and ready for your first delicious bite.

So why do we produce our food art? Well, we want to show off the fresh produce in our food in a distinct and fun way that’s uniquely Pret. But, aside from that, we like to make you smile, and as long as it does that (and we’ve heard it does), we’ll keep on doing what we do.