Pret Launches Five-Point Allergy Plan
National Roll Out of Full Ingredient Labels to Begin This Week
01 May 2019: Pret A Manger has today set out its Five-Point Allergy Plan, designed to help every customer with allergies or intolerances get the best possible information about Pret food and drink.
Pret’s Plan, which includes the launch of new tablets in every shop, the removal of allergens from a range of Pret products, and a commitment to produce quarterly food safety reports, comes as Pret commences the nationwide roll-out of full ingredient labels on all freshly made products.
The new labels are live in 20 London shops this week, with further roll-outs planned later this month and over the summer.
The move follows the completion of a successful pilot in two shops in London Victoria, which has seen Team Members label over half a million Pret sandwiches, baguettes and wraps since November 2018.
It draws closely on recommendations from Tim J. Smith, Chair of Pret’s Food Advisory Panel, as part of his review of Pret’s food policies.
Commenting on the Plan, Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret A Manger, said: “The issue of allergies has struck a deep chord within Pret A Manger following the tragic deaths of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and Celia Marsh.
“We said we would learn from the past and make meaningful changes. This plan brings together some of the most important changes we have been making to help customers with allergies.
“At the heart of the plan is the roll out of full ingredient labels on Pret’s freshly made products. Thanks to the dedication of many Pret Team Members, we have been able to show that full ingredient labelling is operationally possible in small kitchens when proper care is taken.
“But labelling is only part of the challenge. We have listened to Pret customers with allergies and they have told us they face a range of issues when deciding to eat out – from limited menu choices to a lack of awareness and understanding from food businesses.
“Pret’s Allergy Plan will tackle many of these issues – and help to ensure that every customer has the information they need to make the right choice for them.”
The Pret Plan includes:
1. Full ingredient labels in every UK shop on all freshly made products. Following the completion of the recent pilot, full ingredient labels are live in 20 Pret shops this week – the first step in a nationwide rollout. As well as training Pret Team Members on the new labelling process, Pret has offered to share the details with the government and wider industry to help other food businesses adopt a similar approach.
2. Tablets with full ingredient information in every UK shop. Customers will be able to proactively search through Pret’s menu using new tablets, filtering out ingredients to find products they can consume based on their individual dietary needs. The new tablets will be rolled out over the course of 2019.
3. Removing allergens from products without compromising taste. In a further step to reduce the barriers to eating out for people with allergies, over 70 Pret recipes have been reformulated to remove one or more allergens. The move reflects the addition of a new step in Pret’s product development process, where allergens are reduced wherever possible, without impacting quality or taste.
4. Pret to share quarterly incident updates. To help boost transparency across the food industry, Pret will produce detailed updates on food safety and ingredients on a quarterly basis.
5. An inside-out approach to allergy awareness. Pret will build on its existing allergy training programme – which includes Pret Academy, online, and on-the-job modules – to encourage the right behaviours and understanding of allergies in every shop. Specific measures include adding allergy awareness to Pret’s weekly “mystery shopper” programme; launching new upskilling programmes for 1,000 Baristas, Hot Chefs and other key roles – including an additional £1m investment in higher rates of pay for those who complete additional training; as well as UK-wide training for Team Members on the new labelling process.
Pret continues to work with Tim J. Smith and the independent Food Advisory Panel, which is made up of a range of campaigners, experts and policymakers. The Panel has been reviewing Pret’s food policies, from concept through to consumption, and will be advising on further changes over the coming months.