The leadership team behind Panera bread is health conscious, to say the least. While CEO Ron Shaich eats vegan for a large portion of the week, president Blaine Hurst adheres to a more Paleo-style diet. It’s that line of thinking that now has Panera adjusting its menu.
According to an article in Fortune, Panera is making it easier for customers to stay on their vegetarian and vegan diets. The brand is rolling out three curated menus based on three different diets: plant-based, protein-rich and nutrient-packed. The move allows customers to order digitally from a menu that only lists items within their restrictions. There are 30 vegan or vegetarian plant-based items, 28 nutrient options and 27 items that are protein-rich.
Panera’s director of wellness and food policy Sara Burnett said, “We know that food is more than just fuel. In many ways food is medicine. It’s a macro-trend that we’re seeing, and rightfully so.” She also adds that the brand decided to change its menu after thinking about “how we would want to be served as a guest.”
This isn’t the first move that Panera has made in an effort to enhance the quality of its menu. It was one of the first brands to serve chicken raised without antibiotics, and in 2014 it committed to using only clean ingredients. Panera also has a “No No List” of ingredients that it never uses when preparing food.
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