Panera Bread to Add Vegan Options to Menu!
By this point, plant-based options have become so popular and requested, even large companies are taking notice. Starbucks recently announced their decision to include vegan options in their menu, Taco Bell unveiled an American Vegetarian Association-approved vegetarian menu with some vegan options, and Jamba Juice is also offering almond-milk based smoothies!
Now Panera Bread, with over 1,800 restaurants located nation-wide, can be added to that (growing) list! Just last week, the company announced its decision to incorporate more vegan options into its menu–focusing on quinoa and edamame. Sara Burnett, Panera’s director of wellness and food policy, stated:
“We know that guests are increasingly seeking plant-based proteins for personal health reasons and/or to reduce their environmental impact. 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.”
On top of the addition of some plant-based options, Panera has announced that they are in a process of using completely cage-free eggs for their products, a goal they are aiming to reach in 2020. The current amount they use is at 21%. The company also made a commitment to avoid the use of antibiotics in their animal-based products, meaning their entire pork supply this year (around seven million pounds), were from pigs raised on vegetarian diet, free of any antibiotics. The chicken and turkey options are also antibiotic-free, as well as 89% of their beef.
While the animal-based products are still plenty, Panera choosing to include plant-based options is still big news for vegetarians and vegans, especially considering it is one of the largest chains in the US. Panera have also stated they are committed to transparency, by labeling what is in every product. Ron Shiach, CEO of the company, stated:
“We are committed to transparency – which means sharing where we are and where we plan to go. We encourage other companies to join us by transparently sharing their progress.”
The list of restaurants including plant-based options continues to grow, and it’s exciting to see who else will follow!