Reliance Brands Ltd. plans to launch Pret A Manger, the UK’s fresh food and organic coffee chain, in India, putting the oil-to-telecom group in the thriving food and beverage industry.
Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd., has entered into a long-term master franchise agreement with Pret A Manager to open the luxury food chain across the country, starting with major cities and travel hubs, according to a company statement.
Pret A Manger, French for ‘ready to eat’, first opened in London in 1986 to create handmade dishes, freshly prepared every day. The brand currently has 550 outlets worldwide in nine markets, including the UK, US, Europe and Asia, offering organic coffee, sandwiches, salads and wraps.
“Our partnership with Pret is rooted in the strong growth potential of both Pret as a brand and the food and beverage industry in India,” said Darshan Mehta, managing director of Reliance Brands, in a statement.
“RBL is closely following the pulse of Indian consumers and there is an increased awareness of what we eat – quickly making food the new fashion,” he said. “Indians, like their global counterparts, are seeking dining experiences based on fresh and organic ingredients, which has been synonymous with Pret’s core offerings.”
Pano Christou, chief executive officer of Pret A Manger, said: “Two decades ago we opened Pret’s first store in Asia and it has been an inspiration to all of us to bring our freshly prepared food and organic coffee to new cities across the continent. “RBL is a great partner to help us do that…” he said, calling it their “most ambitious global franchise partnership to date.”
India’s largest luxury to premium retailer, Reliance Brands has nurtured and developed global brands in the country for over 14 years. The current portfolio includes Armani Exchange, Burberry, Emporio Armani, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., Versace. It operates 732 stores and 1,205 shop-in-shops in the country.