Panera CEO says ‘no’ to unacceptable ingredients
The restaurant chain is doing away with or reformulating dozens of ingredients as its tries to make its food healthier.
When Panera Bread founder and CEO Ron Shaich considers the foods featured on the bakery-cafe’s menu, he pictures serving them to his 11-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.
“My kids are eating Panera 10 to 11 times a week,” Shaich tells Fortune. “I don’t want to serve them junk.”
That explains why Shaich has been on a personal, decades-long mission to bring healthier and “clean” ingredients into Panera’s chain restaurants while also advocating better transparency about that ongoing process. More than a decade ago, Panera began to use chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, a move that later expanded to all of the proteins it serves. The company also drew lines in the sand on trans fats, listed calorie information on all menus and, more recently, began to remove artificial additives.
That latter effort is still an ongoing process. Panera PNRA -0.10% today disclosed the progress the restaurant chain has made since promising last June to only use “clean ingredients” by the end of 2016.