Pasadena, United States - August 2, 2014: Panera Bread restaurant exterior. Panera Bread is a chain of bakery-café fast casual restaurants in the United States and Canada.
Why Panera's First Attempt At Pizza Was A
Huge Flop
By Brianna Corley
Panera added many new types of menu items in 2020, but one all-new food category stood out to avid Panera fans: Panera's very own flatbread pizza. While the 2020 product was a success, there was an earlier attempt at a Panera pizza that didn’t fare so well.
Created in 2006, the Crispani was also a flatbread pizza. While Panera originally stated it stopped producing the Crispani due to production difficulties, some of Panera's shareholders brought the company to court after claiming they had been "misled" concerning the Crispani's popularity, and another claim held that it failed due to bad marketing.
Panera's flatbread line consists of thicker dough than the Crispani, so the pizzas stay warmer longer, are easier to reheat, and have a shorter cooking time. The flatbread pizzas were also well-marketed on social media platforms and with an interactive press release where fans could read about and then order a flatbread pizza.