Panera Bread Adding More Plant-Based Options
Options continue to abound for those seeking a healthy, plant-based meal paired with convenience, as Panera Bread has just announced some tantalizing new additions to its menu.
Those visiting the nationwide chain should soon take note of a selection that includes edamame and quinoa.
“We know that guests are increasingly seeking plant-based proteins for personal health reasons and/or to reduce their environmental impact,” said Sara Burnett, Director of Wellness and Food Policy for Panera Bread. “To that end, we have been adding plant-based proteins…to our pantry of ingredients, so all guests can eat well the way they want.”
In an effort to be more environmentally and animal friendly, Panera also stated that they will be switching to 100% cage-free eggs for its products. However, they plan to attain that goal in 2020, some four plus years away. Currently they utilized only 21% cage-free eggs.
Another focus for the company has been the use of antibiotics in their animal products, or rather, the lack thereof. The entire pork supply this year, some seven million pounds of it, was raised without antibiotics on a vegetarian-only diet. Panera’s chicken and turkey were also farmed without antibiotics, while 89% of their beef is as well.
While those subscribing to a plant-based lifestyle may still scoff as the amount of meat sold, it does seem like Panera is making efforts to cater to changing eating habits of a more well-informed and active public.
“Props to Panera for focusing on more plant-based proteins and for getting chickens out of cruel cages,” said Matthew Prescott, a Senior Food Policy Director for the U.S. Humane Society. “Americans are eating more plant-based foods than ever and avoiding the worst factory farm abuses.”
What’s more, Panera is willing to disclose what does and does not go into its product. “We are committed to transparency – which means sharing where we are and where we plan to go,” said CEO Ron Shiach. “We encourage other companies to join us by transparently sharing their progress.”