The popular Panera Bread, Co. says it is set to remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by no later than 2016. This move reflects the growing distaste consumers are showing for such ingredients.
Panera had already made a move to removing Bovine Growth Hormone dairy and the like from its products, but this recent moves takes them even further towards the direction that health food companies, stores and restaurants had been taking for years.
The chain of Panera bakery cafes amount to around 1,800 U.S. locations. Each of them will adhere to the pledge known as part of its “Food Policy” unveiled Tuesday to use “clean” and “simple” ingredients only.
Panera Bread had been facing slowing sales growth and was looking for ways to jumpstart its business through a variety of means.
The unveiling of Panera’s new “Food Policy” underscores how positioning foods as natural is now a clear marketing advantage. Panera stopped short of swearing off genetically modified ingredients, however, unlike Chipotle, which says its menu will soon be free of GMOs.
This year, the St. Louis-based company Bread Company is forecasting sales growth of 2 to 3.5%.