Campaign For Real Salad: Supermarkets vs Sandwich stores

The Campaign for Real Salad rumbles on. Lots of you are reading this, but not signing the petition. You could go and sign it now. Go on, click... and sign.

I thought I’d start to examine the supermarket competition in the pre-packaged salad market. Pret a Manger prides itself on its philosophy of providing food that is made ‘avoiding the obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives common to so much of the ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ food on the market today.’ So presumably their salads are going to be a good lunch option.

Looking at their website, it’s good to see that their salads are served with the salad dressing ‘served in a small pot giving you the choice to add a lot, a little or none at all.’ This is a good thing, giving the consumer the choice I’ve been banging on about. But then, the supermarkets do the same thing. Asda’s Tuna Salad, for example, has its dressing served in a sachet, so you do still have the choice of how much to add. But this is no doubt intended to keep the salad crisp, rather than to allow consumers the option of ensuring that their salad remains a healthy choice.

Even more strangely, the Pret option specifically states in the ingredient breakdown that you’re getting a ‘large French dressing’, so I’m not sure how that’s a small pot.

So how do they stack up? The Pret Tuna Nicoise does seem to be roughly commensurate with the Asda Tuna Salad in terms of ingredients so lets see how they compare. Pret’s nutritional info divides up between the salad and the dressing, so I’ve added it all together.

Pret Tuna Nicoise Salad
Serving size – 310g
Calories  – 399 (per 100g – 129kcals)
Sugar – 4g (per 100g – 1.29g)
Fat – 29.6g (per 100g – 9.5g)
Sat Fat – 4.1g (per 100g – (1.3g)

Ingredients:
Pole and line caught skipjack tuna, baby capers, free-range egg, baby plum tomatores, salad leaves, freshly sliced cucumber, lemon, sliced red onions, pret seasoning, large French dressing

Asda Tuna Salad
Serving size – 220g
Calories – 163 (per 100g – 74kcals)
Sugar – 2.2g (per 100g – 1g)
Fat – 9.24g (per 100g – 4.2g)
Sat Fat – (per 100g – 0.6g)

Ingredients:

Mixed Leaf (24.5%) [Iceberg Lettuce, Red Chard], Baby Plum Tomatoes (18%), BOILED FREE RANGE EGGS (13%), Green Beans (13%), Tuna (13%) [Tuna, Water, Salt], Lemon Dressing (9.0%) [Water, Rapeseed Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard [ containing Water, Spirit Vinegar, MUSTARD POWDER, MUSTARD HUSK, Salt, MUSTARD FLOUR, Allspice, Turmeric], Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Cornflour, Sugar, Lemon Zest, Salt], Pitted Black Olives (6.8%) [Pitted Black Olives, Water, Salt, Preservative (Acetic Acid, Lactic Acid), Colour (Ferrous Gluconate)

 There you have it. The supermarket choice is a much healthier option than a visit to Pret. Although it looks like Pret have a much fresher product in terms of fewer ingredients and no additives, I have been unable to find the ingredients for the Pret seasoning or the large French dressing.

 And I am surprised that the Pret offering contains more than double the fat. For all their talk of ‘small pots of dressing’ they give their customers more than double the amount of dressing that Asda does. An average woman should have no more than 70g of fat per day, so if you had a Pret tuna salad with all the dressing that is 43% of your daily fat right there. You could walk into KFC, and order a Flaming Wrap and a corn cob instead and you’d get 415 calories and 17g of fat, nearly halving the fat of your Pret salad.


Of course, KFC would give you less fresh vegetables, less vitamins and minerals, but the fact remains that there is a weird discrepancy in the fresh, vibrant choice of salad for your lunch and the actuality of the nutrition these choices provide. If you would like salad to be a healthy choice, sign the petition today and let’s see where we can take it.

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No Responses

  1. How right you are – sadly the packaging is sometimes less than helpful – some salads have their nutritional info by the tablespoon!

  2. I avoid pre packed salad! It's the same with 'healthy' sandwiches. Read the packaging is my advice x

  3. Hmm, interesting – perhaps I should look at fast food salads next! Thanks Cheryl.

  4. Wow, 400 calories for a salad is shocking ! I always opt for a salad when we go to Quick (the French version of McDonalds) and leave off the salad dressing, but even so, they have grated carrot drenched in oil (which I spread over as the dressing) and way too much cheese. Surely they must understand that by choosing salad, you want a low-fat/low-calorie option ! Thanks for linking up on the Sunday weigh-in linkie xx

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