Panera Ditching Additives In Ready-To-Eat Products Sold In Grocery Stores

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Following moves to get rid of all artificial food additives from all the food on its menu by the end of the year and announcing that its entire line of soups was free of those additions, Panera Bread says it will also let go of the artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives found in its products sold in grocery stores. 

The Panera at Home ready-to-eat line, which includes about 50 products like soups, macaroni and cheese, pasta, salad dressings, breads, and coffee, will also abide by the company’s new no-additive policy by the end of 2016, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

“We’ve spent years building trust with our guests through transparency and investments in the quality of the food we serve,” Ron Shaich, Panera’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Panera at Home is an extension of that work – another way we are offering food as it should be beyond the walls of our bakery-cafes.”

CNBC reports that the decision to eliminate the artificial ingredients from the Home line did not have a significant impact on costs for the company as the products already relied heavily on natural ingredients.

“For us, the answer was often simple,” Sara Burnett, director of food policy and wellness for the chain, said. “For instance, we decided early on to use refrigeration to help extend shelf life for products like our soups and salad dressings. Where necessary, we’ve relied on natural preservatives — such as rosemary extract — to do the job.”

Panera extends ‘clean’ commitment to grocery store shelves [St. Louis Business Journal]
Panera Bread ditches artificial ingredients in its grocery store products [CNBC]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.