Panera Bread Launches New Category of Warm Grain Bowls

Panera

[PRESSWIRE] ST. LOUIS, Sept. 18, 2019 -- Just in time for fall, Panera is launching hearty, warm Grain Bowls featuring a medley of whole grains, crisp greens, vibrant vegetables and lean protein infused with bold, internationally-inspired flavors and sauces.

The new Baja warm Grain Bowl and Mediterranean warm Grain Bowl--both available with or without chicken--mark Panera's entry into the grain bowl category. The introduction of grain bowls is the next step in Panera's evolving mission to offer more grains, plants and proteins on its menu, with a focus on delivering craveable food that makes you feel not just full, but fulfilled. This "Full of Good" philosophy leans into the notion that consumers shouldn't have to compromise between wholesome, hearty and delicious. Panera's warm Grain Bowls deliver the good, on all fronts.

"With the launch of our Baja and Mediterranean warm Grain Bowls, Panera is at the forefront of bringing on-trend bowls to consumers across America, at scale," said Dan Wegiel, EVP Chief Growth and Strategy Officer at Panera. "Interest in bowls that feature an abundance of nutrient-dense, fresh, layered ingredients, lean protein, veggies, grains and flavorful sauces -- is on the rise.  We believe this product is the best example of what we stand for when we say 'good and good for you.'  Panera's warm Grain Bowls deliver on consumer demand for options that are both hearty and nutritious, that they can feel good about, without compromise."

Panera's made-to-order grain bowls are available in two varieties, Baja and Mediterranean; both include layers of ingredients that create a symphony of colors, textures and robust flavors. They are designed to fit into a flexitarian diet—guests can enjoy the bowls as a plant-forward option, or add chicken raised without antibiotics for a protein-rich meal with a total of at least 29 grams of protein. With these bowls, Panera is leaning into what the company believes are the fundamentals of good eating: make your grains whole; eat more plants; and when eaten, make your proteins lean and responsibly raised.

  • The Baja Grain Bowl is made with cilantro-lime long grain brown rice, a mix of red and golden quinoa, grilled citrus pepper chicken raised without antibiotics, black bean and corn salsa, house-made salsa verde, red grape tomatoes, fresh avocado, feta crumbles and whole milk Greek yogurt. 
  • The Mediterranean Grain Bowl features cilantro-lime long grain brown rice, a mix of red and golden quinoa on a bed of fresh arugula, layered with grilled citrus pepper chicken raised without antibiotics, red grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, diced cucumbers, hummus, lemon tahini dressing, feta crumbles and whole milk Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon. 

"Our new grain bowls come to life with globally-inspired flavors that are both bold and complex--crafted with layers of fresh, authentic ingredients sourced from our extensive pantry of more than 400 clean ingredients," said Sara Burnett, Panera Vice President of Wellness and Food Policy. "When we create a new menu item, the most important consideration for Panera is taste.  It has to be delicious and crave-worthy, but we never lose sight of the good-for-you element.  Panera's warm Grain Bowls marry nutrient-dense grains, vegetables and proteins designed to nourish and fulfill, while making your taste buds hum."

Panera's new Warm Grain Bowls are available nationwide in Panera bakery-cafes, on Panera's e-commerce site, via the Panera app and through delivery partners that include DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats.

MyPanera members will earn double visit credit on eligible purchases from September 23rd – 29th, in celebration of the introduction of warm Grain Bowls.  To learn more or join now, visit MyPanera.com.  Additionally, Panera is supporting the launch of warm Grain Bowls with a robust integrated marketing and creative campaign, Full of Good which includes digital, TV, radio, OTT, Out of Home and more.  

For more information on Panera's warm Grain Bowls, download the Panera app or visit www.PaneraBread.com.

About Panera Bread 
Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. 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. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.

So we began with a simple commitment: to bake bread fresh every day in our bakery-cafes. No short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.

These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally for wellness to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing or not using artificial additives (preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources on our No list) in the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don't have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.

We're also focused on improving quality and convenience. 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 and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests.

As a result, Panera has been one of the most successful restaurant companies in history. What started as one 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has grown into a company with more than 2,300 units, nearly $6 billion in system-wide sales, and over 100,000 associates.

As of June 25, 2019, there were 2,143 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co.® names. For more information, visit panerabread.com or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook (facebook.com/panerabread) or Instagram (@panerabread).

Media Contacts:
Nirmala Singh
Zeno Group
Nirmala.Singh@zenogroup.com

Edward Ruddy
Sloane & Company
ERuddy@SloanePR.com