Pret A Manger is the latest high street chain to add vegan products to its menu for 2020 with its new “Very Berry” croissant.
Following in the footsteps of KFC, Burger King and Greggs, who recently launched a new plant-based steak bake, the brand’s vegan offering is made entirely from non-animal ingredients and goes on sale on 7 January to cash in on the Veganuary rush, as people around the UK dabble in veganism for the month of January.
According to Pret, more than 20 million croissants are sold at its stores every year, meaning its vegan offering could prove hugely popular.
The Very Berry croissant is made using margarine and sunflower oil, the idea being that this can replicate the buttery flakiness of a traditional croissant.
The pastry is then filled with a sweet berry compote and sprinkled with sugar.
But what does it taste like? The Independent tested the Very Berry croissant.
At a first glance, the pastry does look rather slim compared to a regular buttery croissant. But the flakiness is there, as is the springy texture you’d expect... it’s just slightly condensed.
"I was impressed by the pastry lamination," notes The Independent's Helen Coffey. "Normally, this is done by folding in butter to create the lovely layers you get in regular croissants. Somehow, Pret has managed to do it using margarine and sunflower oil, quite a feat."
The filling is sweet and jam-like (though Pret have called it a berry compote). It can be overpowering in the centre, but it adds an interesting zing to what would otherwise be a fairly plain sweet treat.
Overall, the pastry does not taste like other vegan sweet treats and could easily stand on its own among the regular croissants and muffins that Pret has to offer.
"I wouldn't have known it was vegan unless someone told me," says Helen, who is vegetarian.
Given how filling the pastry is, it's good value as well, adds Helen. "At £1.70, it's the same price as Pret's other speciality pastries, such as an almond croissant or a pain au raisin. It's nice to see they don't discriminate by marking up the price for vegans."
Pret states that despite being a vegan-friendly product, its Very Berry croissant is still subject to contamination due to cross contact in kitchens and shops, so it may not be suitable to those with allergies, including dairy and eggs.
The Very Berry Croissant, is available in Pret A Manger stores nationwide from 7 January for £1.70