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Pret a Manger Accused of Deceptive Sandwich Packaging

MrConsumer had occasion to eat at what he considers an expensive regional European sandwich shop last March called Pret a Manger. He discovered something sneaky about how they packaged their sandwich wraps.

Pret Bang Bang Chicken

Upon opening the package, one gets an unexpected surprise.


Pret revealed

What looked like a long wrap sandwich, potentially worth the $7.49 price, turns out to be two small halves that come nowhere close to filling the package. The “Lovingly Made” cardboard surrounding the middle of the sandwich hides the dirty little secret of the empty space between the two halves. I thought to myself — great — I have a good Mouse Print* story.

As we have discussed in the past, deceptive packaging can be illegal, particularly when there is nonfunctional empty space in the package. That’s called slack fill, and it tends to give consumers a misimpression about the actual contents of the package. It makes the consumer think there is more product inside than there really is.

Fast forward to this summer when a New York consumer purchased a different wrap at Pret and got snookered too. He thought to himself — great — and he filed a class action lawsuit a few weeks ago against the company claiming millions of dollars of losses suffered by purchasers of these kinds of wraps. His lawsuit claims that depending on the sandwich there can be up to two-and-a-half inches of empty space between the two halves. (See story in Gothamist.)

So we asked Pret about their reaction to the lawsuit and why they package their wraps in this deceptive manner. They did not respond.

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12 thoughts on “Pret a Manger Accused of Deceptive Sandwich Packaging”

  1. This is blatantly deceptive. This seems to be the norm nowadays, seeing just how much a company can get away with before there’s an outcry.

  2. 1776 the cry heard around the world was, “Give me Liberty of Give me Death!” Now it’s “I’ll SUE!”

  3. Interesting here.. The wrap does not have to be like a bag of potato chips though.

    If they did cut at least 1 inch off the packaging would you still buy buy the item?? The cost difference here would like a 1 penny at most.

    Pret a Manger is not low cost place to eat anyway.

  4. Reminds me of a time I bought socks that said there were 2 in the package. That turned out to be literal. 2 socks, NOT 2 pair!

  5. To Catman: In today’s society, money talks.

    This is a clear case of packaging deception, but I am afraid that the company may be able to get away with it because the net weight of the product is included on the front of the package.

    This is really shameful.

  6. Ridiculous! Ludicrous! How will he get return customers by cheating them like this? One time and I would not go back. In fact, upon opening my food, I might go and complain ASAP and demand a refund.

  7. I’d be curious to know if they cheat consumers in England too or if they just do this in the U.S. because they can get away with it.

  8. Angie
    I have occasionally bought pret sandwiches (mostly in the airport) and never seen anything like this.
    Next time I;m ‘up London’ I’ll pop in and have a look.

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