Panera Bread Removing Artificial Additives, Keeping GMOs

The Missouri-based company, which is experienced slowing sales, is trying to satisfy consumer demand and appeal to younger patrons.

Credit: Panera Bread
Credit: Panera Bread
Panera Bread, the cafe chain experiencing stagnant sales this year, on Tuesday announced it will remove artificial additives from its menu in a move to satisfy consumer demand and appeal to younger patrons.

The Missouri-based company, however, will reportedly still use ingredients with controversial GMOs.

Panera has about a dozen Rhode Island locations in communities like Newport, Woonsocket, Providence, Smithfield, and Cranston.

Panera currently uses artificial additives like coloring for bakery icing, the Associated Press reported. It said it would get rid of them by 2016.

The company said it was committed to achieving the following goals:
  • Clean Ingredients: We are advocates for clean food. We’re committed to sourcing and serving high-quality ingredients without artificial additives including added MSG, artificial trans fats, and ingredients we don’t believe need to be in your food.
  • Transparent Menu: Our menu is diverse. We’re committed to transparency to empower guests to choose how they want to eat.
  • Positive Impact: We are committed to making a positive impact on our food system. We believe guests deserve to know not only what is in their food, but where it comes from and how companies are impacting the food system. 
"Panera was founded on the belief that quick food could be quality food," company founder and CEO Ron Shaich said in a statement. "We started by baking bread from fresh dough each day in our cafes. That commitment led to others—like our early decision to remove artificial trans-fats, post calories on menu boards and invest in serving chicken raised without antibiotics. As we continue to make conscious choices about the food we source and serve, we realized it’s also important to share what we’ve accomplished and where we’re going."

Panera, however, will continue to use foods with GMOs, the AP reported. Chipotle has started labeling foods with GMOs and said it's working to eliminate them from the menu.

Panera will also continue to sell sugary sodas, according to the AP.

In April, Panera said that sales at its stores open at least 18 months increased just 0.1 percent in the first quarter, Reuters reported.
JD June 03, 2014 at 03:57 PM
i didn't know they used artificial additives in the past. now i feel violated. i also didn't know they used gmo ingredients. they could really have changed things for the better by shunning both. would have likely contributed to large increases in sales that more than outweighed the extra expense. instead, this attempt at a publicity stunt is probably going to do a lot more harm than good. i won't go there for food until they're certified non-gmo.
Bill the 1st June 03, 2014 at 05:52 PM
FYI, there's no such thing as "certified non-GMO." It's an almost 100% certainty that there are GMO genetics in all soy, most corn and a good portion of wheat and rice. I suppose you could make bread products with barley for gluten and artisan grains (amaranth, spelt, etc) for filler. At this point, GMOs are unavoudable. Just accept your chemical manufacturing overlords and be done with it.


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