Indian retail firm Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) has entered the food and beverage segment by partnering with UK sandwich and coffee chain Pret a Manger.

Under this partnership, RBL plans to launch and build the brand in India, opening Pret a Manger restaurants across the country.

Initially, RBL plans to open Pret a Manger outlets across major cities and travel hubs.

Reliance Brands Limited managing director Darshan Mehta said: “Our partnership with Pret is rooted in the strong growth potential of both Pret as a brand as also of the food and beverage industry in India.

“RBL closely follows the pulse of Indian consumers and there is an increased consciousness of what we eat – rapidly making food the new fashion.

“Indians, like their global counterparts, are seeking fresh and organic ingredient-led dining experiences, which has been synonymous with Pret’s core offering. Couple that with the high recall the brand enjoys in the country, it’s undoubtedly a recipe for success.”

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By launching the Pret a Manger brand in India, RBL is likely to compete with the country’s Tata Starbucks in the future.

Established in London in 1986, Pret A Manger currently has 550 restaurant outlets around the world, including in the UK, US, Europe and Asia.

Its offerings include organic coffee, sandwiches, salads and wraps.

Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou said: “Two decades ago, we opened Pret’s first shop in Asia and it’s been an inspiration for all of us to bring our freshly made food and 100% organic coffee to new cities across the continent.

“RBL are a great partner to help us do just that, bringing their years of expertise in the market to help our brand succeed in India. We’re looking forward to working with them on what is our most ambitious global franchise partnership to date.”