Azodicarbonamide. Caprocaprylobehenin. Tertiary Butylhydroquinone. Try saying that three times fast… well, that might not be so much fun after all. Turns out you won’t have to suffer through the arduous pronunciations of the ingredients listed above, (and many, many others) when reading a Panera Bread menu. In fact, the company has recently announced its elaborate plans to eliminate countless chemicals from the totality of its products by the final month of 2016 (Strom).
So what ignited this dramatic shift in the ingredients that Panera Bread will incorporate into its creations? The Chief Executive of Panera Bread, Ron Shaich, stated quite matter-of-factly that “We’re trying to draw a line in the sand in the industry so that consumers have an easy way to know what’s in the food they buy.” It certainly appears as though the consumer and her/his viewpoints, rather than the growing science on nutrition and health, is driving this decision to make serious cuts in the ingredients that Panera Bread uses. To that end, Shaich went on to attest to the fact that “I’m not a scientist and I’m not wading into the debate over whether any of these things cause cancer or are otherwise bad for you.” Additionally, Shaich further explained “I just think this is where the consumer’s head is right now,” referring to the increasing level of awareness and mounting education that consumers have concerning what exactly is inside the food that they consume (Strom).
Only time will tell whether or not the general public will get on board with the intense changes being made to Panera Bread’s menu. Interestingly, multiple chemical ingredients used by Panera Bread a this moment in time are implemented into recipes because they ensure regularity from meal to meal. There is no guarantee that products at Panera Bread will maintain their mainstream aesthetic quality without chemical preservatives. Therefore, the Senior Quality Assurance Manager at Panera Bread, Sara Burnett, bluntly admitted “We don’t know how customers will react” (Strom).
What is your initial reaction to Panera Bread’s bold move to eliminate such a vast variety of chemicals and preservatives from its ingredient lists?
To view the entirety of the “No No List” (which spells out each ingredient, not just the three listed in the first paragraph of this post) check out this link:
Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
Strom, Stephanie. “Panera Bread Plans to Drop a Long List of Ingredients.” New York Times 4 May 2015: The New York Times Company. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/business/panera-bread-plans-to-drop-a-long-list-of-ingredients.html?_r=0>