LOADING ...

Panera aims to make its menu 50% plant-based by next year

Aimee Levitt Jan 14, 2020. 8 comments

Panera Bread, inventor of the “St. Louis bagel,” has made a noble New Year’s resolution: by 2021, CEO Niren Chaudhary told Business Insider, the chain aims to get away from its carb-based roots and make half the offerings on its menu entirely plant-based. Currently about a quarter of Panera menu items are vegetarian, though Chaudhary added, “With just one customization, 60% of our menu is plant-based.”

The decision is based on Panera’s observation that customers—younger customers in particular—have been trying to eat less meat not just for health reasons, but out of concern for animal welfare and the environment as a whole. The EPA reports that agriculture is responsible for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the vast majority of that is devoted to raising animals and growing crops to feed them. (And yes, there are farmers who are raising animals responsibly and sustainably—Chipotle has made a point of sourcing its meat from them—but they are the minority.)

Sara Burnett, Panera’s vice president of wellness and food policy, told Business Insider that the chain has considered other forms of sustainability, such as cutting back on water usage and electricity, doing more recycling, and using more environmentally friendly packaging, but she said that Panera has decided that it can have a bigger impact by serving more plants.

“We’re really thinking about how do our ingredients, one, tastes great?” she said. “Two, then how do they have a positive effect on people and planet?”

8 Comments

Other Aimee Levitt's posts

Brooklyn man registers a beer as emotional support animal Brooklyn man registers a beer as emotional support animal

For many people, beer is an important source of emotional support. The yeast that is essential to making beer is a living thing. Therefore, why not register a beer as an emotional support animal ? Right? Well, except for the part about how yeast is classified as a fungus, not an animal, but when you are lonely or have...

Yelp taking extra steps to warn you about restaurants that can make you sick Yelp taking extra steps to warn you about restaurants that can make you sick

Yelp ratings are highly subjective. That is, in fact, the whole point of the site: for five minutes, anyone can be a restaurant critic. But your idea of “dirty” or “unsanitary” may not be the same as mine. Health inspection scores, though, are based on a list of predetermined metrics. And now the app version of Yelp will include...

Do not use the American Dirt book party as inspiration for your own dinner table decor Do not use the American Dirt book party as inspiration for your own dinner table decor

The main topic of discussion in Book World/Twitter this week is American Dirt, a new novel by Jeanine Cummins about a mother and son who undergo great trials and tribulations on their journey from Mexico to the United States. The book’s publisher, Flatiron, paid seven figures for the manuscript and solicited blurbs from the likes of Stephen King and...

Eli Manning gets his own beer Eli Manning gets his own beer

Eli Manning, the longtime New York Giants quarterback and noted beer fan, will announce his retirement tomorrow. (Question: if it’s already known that he will be announcing his retirement, is it really an announcement?) Naturally, he will be showered with praise and reminiscences of highlights of his glorious NFL career. (Please don’t ask me what any of those are....

Suggested posts

Last Call: Send me your pie problems Last Call: Send me your pie problems

Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.Prev NextView All Last fall I asked our beloved readers to shoot me any questions they had about how to bake pie, and, as always, you...

Why kosher food is a growing business Why kosher food is a growing business

If asked to name what’s been booming in the grocery industry, you might first think of gluten-free baked goods, plant-based products, alternative milks , or any one of the other trends that have radically changed the way Americans eat and shop. You probably wouldn’t think of kosher-certified foods. There’s nothing new or trendy about them, yet 41% of all...

Bon Jovi, patron saint of New Jersey, opens pay-what-you-want restaurant at Rutgers-Newark Bon Jovi, patron saint of New Jersey, opens pay-what-you-want restaurant at Rutgers-Newark

You deserve a dispatch of Jon Bon Jovi Is A Good Dude news. This week, the New Jersey rock god opened the third location of JBJ Soul Kitchen, a nonprofit community restaurant. It’s located on the Rutgers-Newark campus, making it the first of three locations on a college campus. Jon Bon Jovi: great hair, great dude. JBJ Soul Kitchen...

Marty the Stop & Shop robot celebrates first birthday amid murder trial Marty the Stop & Shop robot celebrates first birthday amid murder trial

Do you have plans this Saturday around midday? Cancel ’em. We’re all going to our nearest Stop & Shop to celebrate the first birthday of Marty, a revered employee of the northeast grocery chain. Like most Aquarians, Marty is a robot. Unlike most grocery store employees, Marty could be a key witness in an ongoing murder investigation.If you haven’t...

When it comes to tackling food insecurity, Baltimore gets creative When it comes to tackling food insecurity, Baltimore gets creative

Hot LinksHot LinksWe spend way too much time on the internetPrev NextView All I left my hometown of Brooklyn for Baltimore four years ago because it was one of the most magical places I’d ever stepped foot in. Yes, it has its well-publicized problems. It is also full of people who see these problems and step up. It’s a...

Pray for Foodgod, a mere mortal who got scammed by Burgerim Pray for Foodgod, a mere mortal who got scammed by Burgerim

Foodgods: they’re just like us (foodpeople). According to a three-part report in Restaurant Business, LA-based burger chain Burgerim is in the midst of a dramatic unraveling. After opening over 200 franchises in four years, the slider purveyor is now teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, leaving in its wake hundreds of indebted first-time franchise owners. One of the many...

Brooklyn man registers a beer as emotional support animal Brooklyn man registers a beer as emotional support animal

For many people, beer is an important source of emotional support. The yeast that is essential to making beer is a living thing. Therefore, why not register a beer as an emotional support animal ? Right? Well, except for the part about how yeast is classified as a fungus, not an animal, but when you are lonely or have...

Yelp taking extra steps to warn you about restaurants that can make you sick Yelp taking extra steps to warn you about restaurants that can make you sick

Yelp ratings are highly subjective. That is, in fact, the whole point of the site: for five minutes, anyone can be a restaurant critic. But your idea of “dirty” or “unsanitary” may not be the same as mine. Health inspection scores, though, are based on a list of predetermined metrics. And now the app version of Yelp will include...

Let’s raise a whisky glass to haggis, the chieftain of the sausage race Let’s raise a whisky glass to haggis, the chieftain of the sausage race

Acquired TastesAcquired TastesIn Acquired Tastes, The Takeout explores the food and drinks we can’t live without.Prev NextView All You may know haggis as the national dish of Scotland. But more likely, you know it as one the hackiest jokes in the world. “Haggis = gross” is one of the three or four things everyone knows about Scotland (the others...

Sweet cheese börek will teach you to wrangle phyllo and keep the faith Sweet cheese börek will teach you to wrangle phyllo and keep the faith

If you’ve ever attempted a recipe using phyllo dough, it will always include a note along the lines of, “Keep the phyllo covered at all times with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.” It’s a good note, because it’s true! Frozen phyllo dough can be convenient, but if it dries out just a tiny bit, it...

Language