Why Panera May Be The Most Influential Brand Right Now

17 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Oakes Farms buys Pacific Collier Fresh packinghouse.

Panera Bread Co. will open a “Panera Pantry Experience” pop-up shop Wednesday, giving diners a chance to peruse a version of its kitchens and sample new fare set to debut in the fall. Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) has unveiled a new national advertising platform to express the company’s long-held belief in food that is good and good for you. “The Panera experience starts with great taste, but good food should also be good for you. The pop-up, housed in a 2,000-square-foot (about 185 square meters) store once used by Patagonia, will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in New York’s SoHo neighborhood for one day only. The pantry is stocked with each of the chain’s 450 ingredients, including the most obvious staples — jars of flour, cartons of eggs and coffee — as well as the not-so-apparent ones — pumpkin flakes and Napa cabbage. From becoming the first national restaurant company to voluntarily post calories on menu boards, to offering chicken raised without antibiotics ahead of the industry, to removing artificial trans fats and announcing our clean menu commitment — we’ve been working for several decades to earn the trust and confidence of our guests.

Panera Bread has launched a new ad campaign, “Food as it should be,” including a TV ad that states, “Strawberries should sing, lettuce should be dirty…” The goal is to connect the brand’s emphasis on improved ingredients with real stories that capture the “humanity” and positive emotions around food, Panera chief marketing officer Chris Hollander said.

As of now, 85% to 90% of Panera’s ingredients are natural, and the company is on track for the entire menu to be “clean” by the end of next year, while keeping the same price points. “I think we’ve done a phenomenal job, our supply chain guys and our staff, have done a great job of finding unique solutions,” Mr. The campaign’s anthem spot will also appear on digital video platforms and in movie theaters this summer. “You’ll notice that people are in the forefront of our campaign creative.

We announced it, within a week you had Noodles & Company, you had Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, now Subway, all announcing some versions of what we are trying to do.” Louis-based bakery-café chain, the effort borrows a page from fast-casual competitor Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which has long positioned itself as a food activist battling the Big Food system that has led the limited-service segment down a path laden with artificial and genetically modified ingredients. On Sunday, Panera placed full-page ads in newspapers across the country featuring a letter from Panera founder, chairman and CEO Ron Shaich, who invited consumers to “be part of the solution” and join the brand on its journey. In May, Panera said it had removed a “No-No” list of artificial ingredients from 85 percent of its menu, although it had not yet reformulated some crucial items like salad croutons and bacon. We want to enable our guests to focus their energies on the joys of eating: naturally delicious ingredients, served with transparency and respect, and shared with friends and family.

We’re not food activists, we’re more like food positivists, and we see the role healthy food can have in your life,” said Jason Deland, co-founder of Anomaly. “It’s not just heathy eating … it’s also who you’re with, what you’re doing, what you’re sharing in having a healthy relationship with food.” Other companies, including General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo and Chipotle are pledging to become more health conscious, but Mary Chapman, senior director-product innovation at Technomic, thinks Panera’s changes will only boost sales. “They already have a pretty sizable market share, and they’re already pretty well esteemed, but I think as more consumers care about transparency, it absolutely will have positive impact on perceptions,” Ms. The company’s commitments were shared directly from Shaich in a letter that appeared in national newspapers, including The New York Times, over the weekend. But the campaign this week is the first phase in a continuing story. “For us, it’s really about timing and making sure we can deliver on what we’re promising,” he said. “This sets up a foundation on which we can build.” Hollander said he was encouraged to see competitors in recent weeks make similar pledges to use ingredients without certain additives, although, he said, on a lesser scale. This first phase of Panera’s media push is expected to cost about $25 million, as part of an overall marketing spend of about $90 million this year, Hollander said. Panera has no plans yet to follow Chipotle’s lead by removing GMOs from its 1,900 restaurants, but a GMO menu-labeling program is “in the works,” Kish said.

Founded by Eileen Gordon Chiarello, proprietor of a sustainable farm with her husband, TV host and Chef Michael Chiarello, this community and funding platform allows members to influence and scale the food movement by connecting to innovators of sustainable food and farming to collectively back projects that shape how we farm and eat. Panera Bread supports Barnraiser’s mission to help shape a more healthful food future. 30 years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. While the chain won’t rid its machines of PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. drinks — many of which contain No-No list ingredients high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors — it’s working with Pepsi to offer different beverages. 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. 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 April 28, 2015, there are 1,901 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co. ® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names.

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