By Sean Poulter and Zeenia Naqvee for the Daily Mail
15:20 11 April 2023, update 16:24 11 April 2023
- The price of a pure butter croissant in shops at Pret station is up 40p or 18.2% to £2.60
- Chocolate croissants are up 35p or 13.7% to £2.90, while bottled water is up 10p
Pret A Manger has driven prices up 18% due to soaring food ingredient costs, punishing energy bills and the need to give staff three pay raises this year.
Sharp increases in the cost of some breakfast items and treats confirm reports from the Office for National Statistics, Which? and retail analysts that annual food product increases are the highest on record.
And the increases, which are likely to be mirrored by other coffee chains such as Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero, suggest there is no respite from the cost-of-living squeeze.
The Mail’s snap surveys show that the prices charged by Pret A Manger for its popular mix of coffees, pastries, sandwiches, baguettes, wraps and snacks vary widely by location.
At the same time, there’s a huge price premium when buying through apps, such as Just Eat and Deliveroo – even before hefty fees and delivery charges are added.
Looking at the so-called Pret station stores, which are placed near metro stations and train stations as well as airports, the price of an all-butter croissant rose by 40p – 18.2% – to 2.60 £.
The figure for its chocolate croissant rose by 35p – 13.7% – to £2.90. And his dark chocolate almond butter biscuit rose 35p – 14.6% – to £2.75.
A cinnamon danish is up 25p – 9.4% – to £2.90. There was also a 10p increase on a 500ml bottle of still water, taking it 5.5% to £1.90.
Most of them also rose in shops on the main street of Pret, although the increases were smaller in cash and percentage.
As a result, the price gap between the station’s outlets and its street shops has increased.
For example, a Scottish smoked salmon sandwich goes from £4.99 on the high street to £5.35 at a station shop and £5.80 if bought through a delivery app.
Similarly, a free-range egg mayonnaise sandwich drops from £3.25 to £3.50 and costs £3.80 if bought through an app.
A bacon and chicken caesar baguette goes from £5.25 on the high street to £5.99 at a station shop and £6.50 via an app.
The price of a Chef’s Italian Chicken drops from £6.50 to £6.99 and £7.99 if purchased through an app.
As for cafes, a cappuccino costs £3.30 on the high street, £3.45 in a station shop and £3.75 if bought through an app.
An espresso goes from £2.30 to £2.45 then £2.80 via an app.
Pret pointed out that none of its hot drinks, salads and sandwiches have increased this week, but the business is under huge cost pressures.
At the same time, it has raised the average base salary by 19% in one year to retain staff, who have their own bills to pay.
A spokesperson said: “Like many businesses, we have had to raise our prices to meet growing cost pressure. We have also chosen to invest in our hardworking team by offering them the higher salaries they deserve.
She added: “Earlier this year we launched new offerings giving customers more choice and better value in our range of high quality freshly prepared foods and organic coffee.
“This includes our extended Made Simple range and coffee subscription which continue to offer great value.”
Speaking to the Mail ahead of Christmas, Pret boss Pano Christou described the impact of high energy costs as “enormous”.
He said: “This is the number one cost challenge we are facing right now. Over the past year, we’ve seen huge cost increases in all kinds of ingredients and materials, but the ones we’re seeing in energy prices are on a different level.
Sunflower oil, much of which comes from Ukraine, rose with wheat, milk and cheese.
Mr Christou said: “We have seen big increases in milk. Coffee beans increased by 40%. We try to mitigate what we pass on to customers.
High supermarket prices and a series of hikes at chains like Pret, McDonalds and Greggs will fuel suspicions of so-called “greed”.
Whose evidence is there? that many shoppers believe that supermarkets and the like are driving up prices more than is warranted.
The consumer group found that trust in supermarkets was declining.
He said: “Among consumers who lack confidence in the sector, price hikes emerged as a common reason, particularly the perception that prices are sometimes artificially inflated and go beyond what is necessary for companies are compensating for their own cost increases.”
It has been suggested by a top Bank of England adviser, the chairman of Tesco and farmers that some companies are trying to push through bigger price hikes than are warranted.
Catherine Mann, one of the nine members of the monetary policy committee, expressed concern about the ability of businesses to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to tolerate higher prices.
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