The company, which currently sells a gingerbread ‘man’ called Godfrey, will make the linguistic change as it introduces another identical biscuit – Annie – alongside Godfrey.
Both Annie and Godfrey’s labels will describe them as a “gingerbread biscuit with an icing smile and jelly buttons”, avoiding the use of gender pronouns.
The change comes as a result of a letter the company’s CEO Clive Schee received from a customer.
The letter explained that on a visit to Pret, the customer’s niece Annie had asked why there were only gingerbread men, and no gingerbread girls.
“Since we’re introducing Annie, we thought it would be simpler to call them gingerbread biscuits,” says Clare Clough, food and coffee Director at Pret A Manger.
In 2014, a tweet from a bakery in Melbourne went viral, showing a picture of 'organic, genderless, gingerbread figures'. It sparked controversy across social media, with comments accusing the bakery of being overly politically correct.
Pret’s gingerbread biscuits are garnering a similar reaction across social media.
The sandwich chain joins a wave of businesses striving to become more gender-inclusive. Brands such as Zara and John Lewis have introduced gender-neutral clothing ranges for children, and public spaces including Peckham Levels and The Barbican now provide the option of gender-neutral/unisex toilets.