Panera to Debut Plant-Based, Protein-Rich and Nutrient-Packed Menus

Panera to Debut Plant-Based, Protein-Rich and Nutrient-Packed Menus

New Panera Menus Aimed at Giving Customers More Control

St. Louis, MO/July 15, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Clean eating is a dining trend that’s overtaken the restaurant industry.  The instant-mixed, freeze-dried, chemically preserved fare that used to pass for food is drawing our collective disdain.  This desire for fresh, sustainable, real food has led hungry diners to seek out restaurants that offer better quality food.  Terms like scratch made, locally sourced, farm-to-table, and such aren’t just marketing clichés.  They’re what we’ve come to expect from our favorite eating establishments.  St. Louis-based Panera Bread Company has capitalized on this fresh food frenzy.  Their recent adoption of a “clean pantry” philosophy (no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, or colorings) has been well received, as has their innovative digital ordering platform.  Now, Panera is adding three new, curated menus to that digital platform.  The Plant Based, Protein Rich and Nutrient-Packed menus are aimed at making it easier for customers to order meals that best serve their dietary preferences.

The new menus will include current menu favorites as well as new salads that have been specially created for Panera by registered dietitian nutritionists.  Customers will also be able to customize their salads, choosing just what they want from more than 50 “pantry” ingredients.

The Plant Based Menu, as the name suggests, will offer vegetarian and vegan fare with an abundance of high-quality, clean ingredients.  Look for fresh produce like romaine, arugula, avocado, berries, and citrus, and proteins like almonds and quinoa.  The Ancient Grain Greek Salad was created by Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN just for this menu.

The Protein Rich Menu will offer options that provide at least 20-percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein.  Mitzi Dulan, RD created the Avocado Cobb Salad with Chicken specifically for this menu.  It’s a high-protein option that supplies lasting energy.

The Nutrient-Packed Menu offers balanced meal choices that are mindful of calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.  The idea is to highlight great tasting options that aren’t overly indulgent.  Mitzi Dulan’s Blueberry and White Balsamic Salad was created with that nutritional balance in mind.

Customers will find Panera’s new curated menus when they use the company’s digital-ordering platforms: the in-store kiosks, online ordering at Panerabread.com, and on the Panera mobile app.  Diners can also peruse gluten free and sodium restricted menu options.

There are more than 2,000 bakery-cafes in in the Panera family, spread across 46 states and in Ontario, Canada.  The St. Louis-based bakery cafe chain reports annual digital sales of more than $1 billion, representing 26-percent of the company’s total sales in Q1 2017.  Panera’s definitive merger agreement with JAB Holdings is expected to be finalized later this year.

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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon is an experienced writer, editor, and broadcast journalist with a strong news background. She’s worked in radio and television news, and for national and international newswire services.

She began her career in public radio while still a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (where she earned a B.A. in Communications). She soon made the jump to news/talk radio, handling assignments from field reporting, airborne traffic, and news anchor, to producing and hosting daily talk shows. She’s also worked in television, most recently as the inaugural producer for The Allman Report on KDNL-TV 30, and as a news writer and reporter for national and international newswire services.