Pret A Manger is researching opportunities for growth in China as it plans 40 more openings this year in its existing markets.

The brand, founded in London in the 1980s, has developed internationally to include a presence in big-name cities such as Paris, New York and Chicago. The brand is now targeting the Chinese market, a decade after its first openings in Hong Kong. 

The next shop will open this autumn at the K11 shopping mall on 300 Huaihai Middle Road in Shanghai. 

In an interview with the Financial Times, Bridgepoint’s managing partner and Pret’s chairman William Jackson, said the brand had “refilled its pipeline of projects”.

Jackson said: ”The US is maturing, France is emerging, the UK is a thriving hub of innovation and we’ve got research and development going in China. We’re planting the seeds for future growth.”

A spokesman said: "Shanghai is a vibrant city and consumers there have an appetite for Western flavours. Building on our success in Hong Kong, we want to offer something different to the Chinese market and bring more British sandwiches, salads and organic coffee to a new audience.

"We have always grown very steadily, one shop at a time. Across the globe, we plan to open 40 new shops this year in our existing markets: Hong Kong, UK, US, and France. "