Panera Bread announced that it will do away with the remaining artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives and colors from artificial sources in its Panera at Home products. The Company expects its entire portfolio of nearly 50 grocery items to be clean, meaning free of its ‘No No List’ additives, by the end of 2016.
The packaged goods industry has historically relied on artificial ingredients to extend shelf stability. Panera has experience working to remove such additives, having already committed to a clean food menu across its nearly 2,000 U.S. bakery-‐cafes by the end of this year.
“Much of the work that we’ve done to simplify recipes in our bakery-‐cafes has set a standard for Panera at Home products. However, the challenges in the consumer packaged goods space are unique, where artificial additives have long been used to preserve taste and appearance,” said Sara Burnett, director of Wellness and Food Policy. “For us, the answer was often simple. 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.”
The Panera at Home portfolio includes refrigerated soup, mac & cheese, pasta, and salad dressings in addition to artisan frozen bread, sliced sandwich bread and coffee. These products can be enjoyed individually or together as part of time-‐saving meal ideas that can be assembled in 20 minutes or less. The Panera at Home grocery line has grown to nearly 50 products available at select retailers across the US. Panera’s refrigerated soup business alone now commands nearly 35 percent market share in the category.