Pret A Manger, one of the nation's most popular lunch haunts, has announced the opening of a third Veggie Pret (and the first to open exclusively as a vegetarian-only site) on the back of strong customer demand for vegetarian and vegan products. Pret's foray into the meat-free market began with a pop-up veggie shop in Shoreditch in 2016, originally due to trial for only a month, which was converted to a permanent store earlier this year. 

Pret is just one example of a retail giant reacting to the growing demand for plant based meals, fuelled in part by the rising number of meat-free millennials and 'flexitarians'. McDonald's, the Godfather of the hamburger, has just launched the McVegan on a month-long trial in Finland - and initial sales have been "very promising" with a nationwide and possible global roll-out on the horizon for 2018. Ben & Jerry's have also launched a dairy-free range.

It's clear that the plant-based diet has established itself as more than a passing trend - we can expect the market to expand rapidly over the coming years and with it an increase in M&A activity. 

Kentucky Fried Corn, anyone?