And lo, after a mere 11 days, the jambon beurre has returned to Pret a Manger’s crimson shelves. The chain temporarily binned the cult-favourite sandwich of country bread, ham, cornichons, and butter after declaring itself dissatisfied with its stone-baked “losange” bread. It is now reportedly crispier, rather than heavy or stodgy.
Given the sandwich’s enviable position on the Pret a Manger roster, its quick return is not a surprise. Sunday Times critic Marina O’Loughlin has in the past declared it her favourite Pret item; ranking in Time Out’s top 10; it is considered the connoisseur’s choice, the foodie’s fall-back if they have to, god forbid, eat at a sandwich chain. It is minimalist, it is sort of French, it is normcore. It is the jambon beurre.
If this is something of a public relations gambit — and, reader, it probably is — Pret appears to be learning from campaigns that fell flat. Its “eat like a bear” campaign, with the Beat poetry-worthy strapline, “Eat like a bear / go forage,” inspired bewilderment before brand affinity. Temporarily removing a god-tier sandwich to raise its standing even further? Now that’s good PR.