Panera launching ‘clean’ consulting business

Panera Bread is forming a consulting business that will help other restaurant brands remove artificial ingredients from their menus.

Panera’s Clean Consultant will be a group of experts that other companies can hire for guidance on how to use more all-natural ingredients and get involved in food policy issues. The business would help companies identify ways they could change their menus and then help them tap suppliers to make the changes.

Sunset Hills-based Panera has been pushing for more “clean” menu offerings at its cafes. In 2015, the company released a list of “No-No” ingredients that it planned to remove from its menu, including items such as aspartame, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup and brominated vegetable oil.

Earlier this month, the company petitioned the FDA to establish a clear definition for the term “egg.” The company claimed 50 percent of the top 10 fast casual restaurants that sell breakfast have an “egg” made of at least five ingredients. The petition came in conjunction with Panera’s launch of its newest breakfast sandwiches made with “100 percent real eggs,” which the company defines as freshly prepared, cracked shell eggs and/or egg whites with no additives.

Panera was acquired last year by JAB Holding in a $7.5 billion deal.

Read more: St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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