Panera Bread Puts Artificial Ingredients on ‘No No List’

Photo (cc) by JeepersMedia

Panera Bread is saying “no, no” to 150 artificial ingredients in hopes you’ll say “yes, yes” to its “clean” menu offerings.

The trendy bakery-café fast-casual restaurant chain, headquartered in a St. Louis suburb, is the latest food company responding to customers demanding fresh, natural and minimally processed foods, as shown in a Nielsen survey.

Panera is sharing its “No No List” of ingredients that will be removed from or never appear in its menu items.

“Last year we unveiled our Food Policy to hold ourselves accountable to long-held values and set the future vision for our menu,” founder and CEO Ron Shaich said in a prepared statement announcing the ingredient ban. “The ‘No No List’ is the latest step on our journey to clean food and a transparent menu.”

The artificial additives on the list will be removed from bakery items, soups, salads and sandwiches.

On May 6, Panera launched what it called “clean” salad dressings, made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives. Panera salads, including the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad and Kale Caesar, are made entirely without these artificial additives, the company said.

“Dressings have been one of the most complex projects given the number of artificial additives – namely flavors and preservatives — conventionally used for taste and consistency,” said Dan Kish, Panera Bread’s head chef.

Kish told NPR he and his team pored over hundreds of additives and asked two questions: What is this? And why is it used?

For example, when he learned titanium dioxide was added to mozzarella cheese just to create an ultra-white appearance, he said, “Let’s just take it out.”

Other companies recently claiming they want to make their foods with more simple, easy-to-understand ingredients include Nestle, Hershey and Kraft, which will make its macaroni and cheese without its artificial orange hue. Some companies, including candy makers, are removing artificial colors and flavorings. Others, such as McDonald’s, say they are working to remove antibiotics from meat and poultry in their food chains.

In April, Chipotle announced that it had eliminated all genetically modified ingredients from the foods sold in its national restaurant chain, saying that GMOs require more research before their impact can be understood.

Panera officials and others acknowledge the removal of artificial ingredients alone won’t necessarily make their dishes any healthier.

“We are not scientists,” Shaich said.

Still the move won praise from some watchdogs groups.

“With this bold commitment, Panera is showing impressive leadership in the restaurant industry to give consumers what they increasingly demand: food with fewer artificial ingredients and additives,” said Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group president and co-founder.

Do you choose your restaurant outings with their ingredients in mind? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page. And share this news on your Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

These free apps and websites can help you get cash back on groceries, shop more efficiently or squeeze the most from the ingredients you have on hand.

25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead
25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead

If you really want to save money, become a more intentional shopper.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today
15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today

Times are tough, but these career fields are thriving.

8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart
8 Ways to Snag Extra Savings at Walmart

Are you aware of all these ways to boost your savings in Walmart stores and at Walmart.com?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?
Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?

A growing number of people are wearing two masks instead of just one. Should you join them?

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.