Panera Bread Promises To Get Rid Of All Artificial Food Additives By 2016

As consumers increasingly turn toward the lists of ingredients to check out what they’re eating, Panera Bread has announced a plan to ditch all artificial additives from all the food on its menu by the end of 2016. Out go the artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives, from everything.

Drinks are another matter, as Panera says it’s working on removing high-fructose corn syrup from many of them, reports USA Today.

“I want to serve food that I want to eat,” says Ron Shaich, founder and CEO of Panera, which has 1,800 locations across the country.

A big part of the reason? Panera wants in on a key demographic.

“Millennials understand that prevention is far better than reacting to a disease,” says Shaich, adding that the vast majority of its new products will also be held to the same standard as the old ones.

Panera was one of the first companies 10 years ago to only offer chicken raised without antibiotics and also to voluntarily show calorie counts on the menu board.

While there are items that certainly aren’t super healthy on its menu still — bread made with white flour instead of whole wheat, desserts filled with sugar and meat sandwiches loaded with sodium, overall Shaich says the company is committed to “clean” ingredients and being clear about what’s in its products.

“When you understand what you’re eating, you’re more likely to make choices in your self interest,” he says.

Some additives going bye-bye:

Deli smoked turkey: potassium lactate, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite and sodium diacetate.

Horseradish: calcium disodium EDTA.

Citrus Pepper Chicken: maltodextrin, potassium lactate.

Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus: ascorbic acid and tocopherol, tara gum, carrageenan, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

Summer corn chowder: tapioca Dextrin, modified corn starch, autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, coconut oil derived from triglycerides, artificial flavors.

Roast beef: caramel color.

Panera to give all food additives the heave-ho [USA Today]

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