In the world of fast-casual dining, the stigma of vegan food is starting to evaporate. People are beginning to understand what vegans can offer to modern culture. Veganism is on its way out of the dark ages and into the mainstream.
Panera Bread (PB) has recently installed new stalls in their store that specialize in vegan food. There is a new type of customers using these stalls and more companies are starting to introduce their vegan options.
Panera Bread is a fast-casual restaurant that offers bakery fresh bread, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more. The experience of the food is meant to mimic being at home cooking something yourself because many ingredients are picked by hand.
The company’s goal is “transforming the way people think about and eat bread for life” (Panera Bread Company). The restaurants offer catering as well as options for dietary restrictions.
Also Read: Vegan Options at Pizza Hut
About Panera Bread
Panera Bread is a company pioneered by Ron Shaich, who brought about many changes to the food industry. Shaich was able to introduce this concept of fast-casual dining, which is a new type of restaurant where you order at the counter but sit down and have your meal brought to you. It is very popular and we see it everywhere we go nowadays.
The company was founded in 1981 by Ken Rosenthal and Louis Kane. In 1983 they opened a second location which was not successful. The same year the first successful location opened under the name Au Bon Pain. In 1985, the name was changed to Panera (a combination of the words “Pane” and “Eros” which means bread in Italian and Greek respectively).
In 1993 they bought Saint Louis Bread Company and started franchising in 1997. They began selling their food products at grocery stores in 2002 with a focus on the frozen food section. In 2011 they introduced a kids’ menu and in 2012 began serving breakfast and lunch all day. It has over 2,000 locations worldwide with $5 billion in annual sales (Bain & Company).
The target audience for Panera Bread is anyone looking for quality food. Most of their marketing is aimed at adults ranging in age from 25 to 44 years old, typically families with children.
It exists to feed people good food without all the additives and preservatives that come with traditional fast food. They work with whole foods, suppliers, and farmers to ensure their products are quality.
The value that it provides for its customers is high-quality ingredients served quickly at a reasonable price. People typically have a positive experience with the food and its clean location, friendly staff, and consistent menus.
The most important promotion is their menu which changes seasonally. They also market through social media such as Facebook and Instagram where they post daily specials and offer coupons. Panera has a rewards program that offers points for every purchase in return for free food or other products. They also use traditional ads in magazines or billboards.
Panera’s communication addresses the quality of their ingredients and how fresh everything is, along with offering seasonal menus. Customers can always expect up-to-date information on their menu and healthy choices. They do not directly respond to issues or concerns as these are published through their social media outlets.
In Dec 2018 Panera announced it is removing all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives from its food. This includes removing caramel coloring from its bread and eliminating the use of artificial preservatives in its baked goods. In the same year, it announced it is adding a vegan menu board to its ordering line. Panera added the plant-based Beyond Burger patty to their menu in some locations.
Read More: Vegan Options at Taco Bell
Vegan Options at Panera Bread (2023)
|1||Bagels… Plain, Everything, Blueberry & Sesame|
|2||Seasonal Fruit Cup|
|3||Peach & Blueberry Smoothie with Almondmilk|
|4||Not on the Menu: Ask for a toasted bagel with an avocado slice. Mash the avocado on for an “avocado toast.”|
|5||Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries, Pecans & Cinnamon Crunch Topping|
|6||Green Passion Smoothie … a blend of peach & mango puree with white grape and passionfruit juice, spinach, and ice.|
|1||Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli Bowl. Order with NO chicken|
|2||Mediterranean Bowl. Order with NO feta or Greek yogurt|
|3||Greek Salad. Order with NO feta|
|4||Peach & Blueberry Smoothie with Almondmilk|
|5||Ten Vegetable Soup|
|6||Asian Sesame Salad. Order with NO chicken or wontons|
|7||Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. Order with NO feta and on one of the vegan bread listed below (sandwich comes with Tomato Basil Bread by default which is not vegan (honey)).|
|8||Strawberry Poppyseed Salad. Order with NO chicken|
|9||Baja Bowl. Order with NO feta or Greek yogurt|
|10||Green Goddess Cobb Salad. Order with NO chicken, cheese, egg, or bacon.|
|11||Fuji Apple Salad. Order with NO chicken or gorgonzola|
|3||Seasonal Fruit Cup|
Continue Reading: Vegan Options at IHOP
|1||Black Pepper Focaccia|
|2||Country Rustic Sourdough|
|5||Bagels… Plain, Everything, Blueberry & Sesame|
|1||Kids Ten Vegetable Soup|
|1||Almond Milk is available.|
|2||Madagascar Vanilla Almond Cold Brew|
|3||Hot Tea. Check with your location’s available flavors.|
|4||Cafe Blend Light Roast|
|6||100% Columbian Dark Roast|
|1||Peach & Blueberry Smoothie with Almondmilk|
|2||Green Passion Smoothie|
|3||Iced Tea & varied flavors.|
Frequently Asked Question
Is Panera Bread owned by a vegan company?
No. Panera Bread is owned by JAB Holding Company, a privately held international firm that also owns Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Does Panera Bread offer vegan menu items?
Yes, but like most restaurants, there is room for improvement. Panera Bread does have vegan menu items, most of which are vegetarian except for a few salads and soups without animal products. Over half of all locations now offer vegan bread as well as plant-milk options for drinks. Menu items that can be made vegan by removing or leaving off an ingredient are designated as such.
Keep Reading: Vegan Options at Cold Stone Creamery
Panera distinguishes itself by being well-known for its healthy food. Especially now, when people are more concerned with what they are eating, Panera has a leg up on the competition because they offer so many quality ingredients in everything they serve. Some of their competitors are very similar but without as much care put into their ingredients or menu options.
Panera has become the first national restaurant chain to adopt meaningful transparency about where its food comes from with the launch of its “No No List.” The list of ingredients, which includes 150+ products that are either no longer allowed or never had a chance to be used in Panera foods, is available on Panera’s website for customers to view.
“We wanted to take an extra step by describing specifically why certain ingredients are not found in our food, even if the original intent was that they are excluded from all Panera menu items,” said Sara Burnett, director of wellness & nutrition at Panera Bread.
The company’s newest advertising campaign, “Panera Goes Home,” features real customers telling stories about their mothers. The campaign aims to express the importance of family. With this new ad campaign, Panera is marketing itself as a brand that cares about community and family. The company is using its website and social media to maintain a consistent presence in the lives of its customers, according to PR Newswire.
The company has also made waves in the food industry through its Panera Cares program. Starting in 2010, Panera began inviting customers who live near one of their non-profit cafes to pay what they can afford for their meal. The idea behind this decision was to give back to those customers who may be struggling financially and find a way for everyone to eat at Panera. This program opened its first store in St. Louis, Missouri, and has since expanded into Dearborn, Michigan, and Portland, Oregon.
It has announced that it will be offering online ordering for home deliveries in the future. CEO Ron Shaich said that Panera tested out this new service in select locations before launching the program nationwide in 2019.
The future of Panera Bread’s marketing will focus on specific dietary options, current menu items, promotions, and new products. They will continue to emphasize their seasonal menu as well as healthy eating. Prices may fluctuate based on the economy, but the quality of the food offered is expected to remain high.