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Pret croissant
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Pret croissants in supermarkets is good, actually?

The chain is putting its pastry in the frozen-foods aisle. We say: nice

By Joe Mackertich

You, closed-minded, a snob: ‘Ooh, Pret A Manger is so tacky. I can’t believe they want to stock their wretched pastries in supermarkets now.’

Me, subversive, man of the people: ‘Um, actually Pret’s croissants are objectively excellent? And more Londoners should have access to them? And your indifference to them actually shows an alarming degree of arrogance? Yeah?’

Famously, Pret has been absolutely hammered by the pandemic. Thousands of jobs have been lost, and 30 of its stores have closed. This is sad, but not a surprise. Mega-chains like Pret don’t tend to fare well once their revenue drops. Who wants to own hundreds of loss-making outlets? Not owners JAB Holding Company, that’s for sure!

As a result, the yoghurt ’n’ sarnie specialists are trying their hand at all sorts of new things, including deliveries, residential store openings and generally abandoning the concept of being (in their words) ‘a shop-first brand’. The latest scheme: selling their croissants in the frozen aisle of London supermarkets. You get six in a pack and they take 20 mins in the oven. Initially they’ll be available only in Tesco, but presumably the powerful Pret Lobby will push for their inclusion in other places too.

‘We’re delighted to be partnering with Tesco for Pret’s first-ever supermarket food range,’ says Pret UK’s managing director Clare Clough, ‘marking an important moment in our journey to bring Pret to more people.’

You’re right Clare, it is a journey. At Time Out we make no bones about our love for ‘ol’ plum-and-steel’ (named after Pret’s colour scheme). We even taste-tested loads of almost identical London croissants last year, and found Pret’s to be among the best. Can’t argue with science. In any case, The Pret Foundation has been feeding (and in some cases employing and housing) London’s hungry and homeless for more than 20 years. Mange on, guys. Mange on. 

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