- Major high street chains Pret A Manger and Leon are partnering with Meatless Farm to expand their plant-based offering for Veganuary and beyond
- Meatless Farm has developed an exclusive pea protein burger patty for Leon’s award-winning LOVe Burger and Pret will be swapping its pork meatballs for plant-based meatballs in its iconic Swedish Meatball Hot Wrap
- The new LOVe burger will also be available via at home kits and Pret’s range via Deliveroo – indicative of the changing face of food-to-go and in support of latest restrictions
- Launches come amid significant rise in ‘ecotarianism’ as demand for plant-based anticipated to soar in ‘Veganuary’ and over 2021
High street food chains Leon and Pret have partnered with the UK’s fastest-growing next generation meat alternative company, Meatless Farm, to expand their plant-based offerings, as 2021 looks set to be the year of ‘ecotarianism’.
The launches come in time for Veganuary 2021 which is set to be the biggest yet with half a million participants already signed-up as plant-based eating soars. The food to go sector has been quick to respond to the changing consumer landscape and both chains have long championed plant-based options. Pret offers a variety of vegan and veggie options for customers and launched Veggie Pret 4 years ago, whilst at the beginning of last year Leon revealed that 60% of its sales were vegetarian or vegan options and its meat free burgers outsold regular burgers, with sales surging from 41.3% to 56.8% .
Pret is launching a meatless version of its best-selling Swedish Meatball Hot Wrap. Pret’s updated classic will use plant-based meatballs, red tapenade, chipotle ketchup and topped with a sprinkling of crispy onions. Meatless Farm’s bespoke meatballs use a range of plant proteins to create a meaty, succulent texture and taste. The Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap will be available from £4.25 and Pret is so confident in it that they are removing the traditional version for a month.
Leon’s iconic LOVe burger will
debut with an updated recipe featuring a specially developed, grilled and
pea-based Meatless Farm patty between toasted sourdough burger buns and topped with LEON LOVe Burger Sauce, vegan
Carolina mustard mayo, tomatoes, pickles and a slice of gouda-style vegan
cheeze. The new wave soya free burger creates an even more meaty and smoky taste.
Morten Toft Bech, Meatless Farm’s founder, said: “The awareness of the impact intensively-farmed meat has on climate change is driving an increase in “ecotarians” who eat in a way which minimises impact on the environment, and this is something that’s going to be an even keener focus in 2021 as climate change action dominates the global agenda.
“Consumers are increasingly demanding meat free choices when they are eating out or on the go as plant-based alternatives move from being a specialist option to top-of-menu with demand coming from meat-reducers and the carbon-conscious as much as traditional non-meat eaters.
“We work closely with our foodservice partners to help them develop their plant-based offering as demand soars, especially via new delivery platforms and at home offerings. To work with such like-minded brands on iconic menu items at one of the most important times of year for plant-based food is fantastic.”
Briony Raven, UK Food & Coffee Director at Pret said: “Veganuary is a great opportunity for people to kick start the new year and try a more sustainable way of eating. At Pret we’ve long offered vegans, veggies and ‘flexies’ a wide variety of options for breakfast, lunch and now dinner.
“As trailblazers in vegan food, we’re really proud of our new Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap. We’ve worked hard to create something that has the Pret taste and quality of one of our classics that our customers expect. To encourage more people to try the new plant-based meat alternative hot wrap, we’ve decided to pull our Swedish Meatball wrap for a month as we’re that confident our customers will quickly fall in love with it.”
Commenting on the launch, Erica
Molyneaux, Head of Food at Leon said: “Meatless
Farm shares the same ethos as Leon in wanting to produce food which both tastes
good and does good. And now we can confidently say it’s doing the planet good
as well, as the move to pea protein improves texture and reduces the burger’s
Meatless Farm continues to drive consumption of
plant-based food across foodservice and retail and has been making waves in the
QSR sector with previous launches including an Asian Meatball Soup with itsu.
The company has gone from strength to strength more recently having raised $31
million (£24 million) to support its ambitious plans to grow in the UK, Europe,
 Leon Jan 2020