Panera is the latest fast-casual restaurant to go the all-natural route. The sandwich and bakery chain announced today that they will be implementing a new nutritional policy, and that by the end of 2016, all artificial ingredients, including artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and colors, will be removed from their menu items. Chipotle also made a similar announcement earlier in the year that they will now refrain from using GMO ingredients in their dishes.
“We believe simpler is better,” said Scott Davis, Panera’s Chief Concept Officer, in a statement. “Panera is on a mission to help fix a broken food system. We have a long journey ahead, but we’re working closely with the nutrition community, industry experts, farmers, suppliers, and others to make a difference. We’re pleased to publicly share our framework and intend to share progress over time.”
Panera revealed more specifics of their plan to improve transparency and healthfulness in their menu items, from removing high fructose corn syrup from bakery items and salad dressings to taking nitrites out of their deli meats.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi