Panera Says Its Entire Soup Menu Is Now Devoid Of All Artificial Ingredients

Panera Bread’s stand against artificial ingredients is marching ahead apace, with an announcement from the company that it’s eliminated artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, and flavors from its entire line of soups. It’s all part of the chain’s plan to go additive-free by the end of this year.

The chain says its soup menu is “clean” now that its removed ingredients on its “No No List” of artificial additives.

For example, Broccoli Cheddar Soup will no longer contain additives like hydrolyzed soy and corn protein and sodium phosphate, ingredients which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which you’ll find in many soup recipes from companies like Campbell’s and Progresso. Other ingredients that have been ditched include maltodextrin and sodium phosphate.

It took some work to go through each soup recipe: Panera says Broccoli Cheddar alone was revised 60 times.

“I want to create soups that our guests will love” said Dan Kish, Panera Bread’s Head Chef, in the company’s press release. “And equally important, I want them to understand and feel confident in the ingredients that go into those soups. We’ve long been advocates of transparency – providing full ingredient information online – and with these new recipes we have even more to be proud of today.”

The items that have been removed haven’t been proven to be unhealthy, but Panera says they just weren’t needed. Companies like Campbell’s and Progresso that sell soup in stores need them to have a long shelf life, but because Panera serves a lot of soup in a short time period — about 200 million servings a year, the company estimates — preservatives aren’t as necessary.

“Time and again, we’ve found that when you replace artificial additives with simpler ingredients, you achieve a better taste,” said Kish.