People tend to choose Panera because they believe Panera cares and will feed them something healthy. I go there to fill up on black bean soup and not feel like my body is crying from eating fast food. Even though Panera has portrayed itself as a more wholesome, health conscious option than a burger and fries, up until now there hasn’t been any commitment from the company to adjust to the new whole, organic foods trend.
According to boston.com, Panera has pledged to remove all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from their food by 2016. Panera, along with Chipotle and Whole Foods, has found advantage in the current public fixation on natural, unprocessed foods. But the word “natural” is tossed around freely by advertisers, and this push for no artificial ingredients doesn’t guarantee healthier food. The company will still be selling fountain drinks that have high fructose corn syrup. Even though Panera cares to remove artificial ingredients and maintain their healthy status, they haven’t made any formal commitment to remove GMO’s.
In any case, publicly making this commitment puts Panera in the position to be held accountable for what goes in their food, and that’s a definite step forward.