Expanding upon a commitment to sell food items made without artificial ingredients, Panera Bread today announced plans to add offerings from Blueprint, Harmless Harvest and Joia to its bottled beverage lineup. The news comes three months after the fast casual restaurant chain released a list of 150 ingredients that it has removed or plans to eliminate from its bakery cafe items.
In a company release, Panera stated that BluePrint’s cold-pressed and high pressure processed Beet Red and Green juices, Harmless Harvest’s organic coconut water and Joia’s Grapefruit Chamomile and Cardamom Soda — each of which are made with natural ingredients — will now be available nationally in its stores. Describing the beverages as “‘clean’ offerings,” the products are expected to join Purity Organic’s Strawberry Paradise Juice, which, Panera tested in some stores last year and eventually added to approximately 1,800 of its locations across the U.S.
Bob Safford, the founder and CEO of Joia praised Panera’s addition of the new beverage offerings as “a major step forward for Panera and for the industry in pairing higher quality and better tasting beverages to complement their higher quality, better tasting food.”
Panera also announced the launch of a new “clean label” version of its seasonal pumpkin spice latte, which is now made with real pumpkin, whipped cream, spices and salted caramel sauce. It will include no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.
While the company has yet to transition away from artificial ingredients at the soda fountain, Panera executives are pushing its supplier PepsiCo to introduce soft drink offerings that are made without high fructose corn syrup. In a New York Times article published in July, Panera’s head chef Dan Kish noted that the company has “had countless meetings with [PepsiCo]… and that we’ve said with you or without you, we are getting high-fructose corn syrup off our menu.”’
Here is Panera’s press release in full:
Panera Expands Clean Commitment With New Beverages
Company Unveils ‘Clean’ Pumpkin Spice Latte and New Bottled Beverages Without Artificial Colors, Flavors, Sweeteners or Preservatives\
ST. LOUIS, MO–(Marketwired – August 18, 2015) – This fall, Panera Bread’s (NASDAQ: PNRA) U.S. bakery-cafes will add a new version of its seasonal pumpkin spice latte and a new line of ‘clean’ bottled beverages that are free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives as delineated on the Company’s ‘No No List’. Panera’s brewed teas, lemonades, smoothies, bottled milks and juices are already free of these artificial ingredients.
An extension of the brand’s food policy ideals, Panera’s newly ‘clean’ pumpkin spice latte is made with select ingredients including milk, real pumpkin, whipped cream, spices and salted caramel sauce. The latte will be previewed at a public sampling in Victor Steinbrueck Park near Pike’s Place in Seattle, WA on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. PST and available at Panera locations nationwide beginning on Sept. 9, 2015.
“Our pumpkin spice latte has long been made with real pumpkin and without artificial caramel color — and this year we’re taking ‘real’ a step further,” said Dan Kish, Panera Bread’s Head Chef. “We’re offering a ‘Real Pumpkin Latte,’ made entirely without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives, and letting the goodness of real pumpkin, milk and spices do all the work.”
Testing is also underway to roll out ‘clean’ versions of the Company’s vanilla, caramel and chocolate syrups, used in other barista beverages.
The bottled beverage line-up will add other ‘clean’ offerings nationally including BluePrint® cold-pressed Beet Red and Green juices, Harmless Harvest® Coconut Water and bottled Joia® Grapefruit Chamomile and Cardamom Soda.
“Our goal is to continue adding new flavors and lifestyle choices in beverage — clean, but evolving with the tastes and seasons,” said Kish.
About Panera Bread
30 years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.
So we began with a simple commitment: to bake fresh bread from fresh dough in every bakery-cafe, every day. No artificial preservatives or short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.
These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing artificial additives (flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives) from the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.
We’re also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-Up for to-go orders – all designed to make things easier for our guests. As of June 30, 2015, there are 1,926 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co. ® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. For more information, visit panerabread.com or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook (facebook.com/panerabread) or Instagram (@panerabread).