Panera Went 100% Clean, Now Consulting Other Restaurants to Do the Same
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Panera kept its promise to make a clean menu – in 2017, the eatery stripped 96 “no-no” ingredients from its menu, removing aspartame, artificial colors and flavors, MSG, preservatives and more. It’s been through the grind and is consulting other businesses to do the same by launching Panera Clean Consultant.
Did you know that the eggs you get at restaurants and fast food places might not be real eggs? They may actually be “hockey puck” egg-like molds that are made up of five ingredients. This is one of the issues that Panera Bread ran into when it crossed over to the light side and is now teaching other chains about.
Since putting their money where their mouth is, Panera has actually seen a significant sales boost showing that other restaurants can follow suit and enjoy profits, too.
Biz Journals reports on the popular chain that, coincidentally, was bought by JAB Holding in a $7.5 billion deal last year:
Panera Bread is forming a consulting business that will help other restaurant brands remove artificial ingredients from their menus.
Panera’s Clean Consultant will be a group of experts that other companies can hire for guidance on how to use more all-natural ingredients and get involved in food policy issues, Business Insider reports. The business would help companies identify ways they could change their menus and then help them tap suppliers to make the changes, the Associated Press reports.
Earlier this month, the company petitioned the FDA to establish a clear definition for the term “egg.” The company claimed 50 percent of the top 10 fast casual restaurants that sell breakfast have an “egg” made of at least five ingredients. The petition came in conjunction with Panera’s launch of its newest breakfast sandwiches made with “100 percent real eggs,” which the company defines as freshly prepared, cracked shell eggs and/or egg whites with no additives.
There have been naysayers even in the natural health communities who are criticizing Panera for not having organic or gluten-free or for even offering pork. (At this point, if Panera made those changes the prices would be too burdensome to enjoy a restaurant treat – there are already organic fast food chains cropping up to meet this demand.) The spectrum of what people consider “clean” is wide and we don’t want to punish a lone restaurant chain for making such massive feats. In fact, we’d like to praise any good step so that we can see more!
Last year, when we reported on Panera’s clean food overhaul – our most widely shared article by a landslide – we had high hopes that this action would prove to start a domino effect across other chains. We just didn’t know that Panera would spearhead the charge to invite other restaurants into the fold. Again, we have to applaud Panera’s actions for sending a ripple throughout restaurants and delivering what consumers want!
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Heather Callaghan is a Health Mentor, Energy Healer, writer, speaker and food freedom advocate. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.