May 16 (Reuters) – British sandwich and coffee shop chain Pret A Manger is nearing a deal to buy smaller rival Eat, in a push to ramp up its offerings for vegetarian and vegan consumers, Evening Standard reported citing sources.

Pret A Manger, bought by Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings in 2018, would either buy most of Eat’s shops or the business entirely, the newspaper website said.

JAB declined to comment, while Pret A Manger and Eat did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Pret is looking to turn Eat sites into “Veggie Prets”, to cater to more health-conscious food enthusiasts who prefer plant-based meals over meat, the report said.

The first Veggie Pret opened in 2016 and the company has been experimenting with vegetarian and vegan options of popular foods such as Macaroni and Cheese and window repair omaha ne brownies.

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru and Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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