Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Panera Ad Campaign Challenges Rivals to Offer Healthier Foods for Kids

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Panera Ad Campaign Challenges Rivals to Offer Healthier Foods for Kids

Article excerpt

As it rolls out a menu free of artificial preservatives and sweeteners, Panera Bread Co. issued a challenge to its fast-food rivals to provide healthier options for kids.

Sunset Hills-based Panera, which operates locally as St. Louis Bread Co., said Thursday that all of its kids' menu items will be free of artificial preservatives, colors and sweeteners beginning Sept. 7. The move is part of the chain's announcement last year that it would banish more than 150 artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors from the foods it sells at its bakery-cafes by the end of 2016.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Panera's chairman and CEO Ron Shaich said McDonald's Corp. is misleading customers with its commercials touting the removal of artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets. "Sure, you've got McNuggets that are preservative-free, but what are you dipping them in? Sauces that are filled with that stuff!" Shaich told Business Insider.

On Thursday, Panera announced a "Kids Meal Promise" that states its restaurants won't serve kids "toy-shaped food," fries or onion rings. …

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