Panera CEO Says Rivals Should Clean Up Their Kids’ Meals


August 31, 2016
in Kids' Meals

Panera Bread chairman and CEO Ron Shaich is always passionate when talking about food, especially his mission to create a menu that he believes can offer healthy fare that diners can trust. But as the parent of two children, Shaich is especially ardent as he vows to ensure the kids’ menu at Panera is stocked with “clean” ingredients and devoid of marketing gimmicks.

On Thursday, Panera PNRA -0.44% is issuing a challenge to the company’s restaurant and food manufacturing peers and rivals to improve the food they serve to kids. The bakery cafe operator has issued a “Kids Meal Promise,” which includes five tenets that Panera is promising to adhere to. Those include: 1) No artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, or colors; 2) no marketing gimmicks including toys or even toy-shaped food; and 3) Panera won’t encourage kids to drink a sugary beverage like some of the chain’s rivals. “Water first, then the option of adding organic milk or 100% juice,” the chain says.

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