Panera Bread announces chain will remove artificial additives from food

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By: Emily Pfund

Tom Gannam/AP Photo

Panera Bread has plans to remove all artificial additives from its food menu by the end of 2016.

According to a report from USA Today, the popular restaurant will be removing all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food. Artificial additives will also be removed from the beverages menu in the future and the chain is already removing high-fructose corn syrup for some of its drinks.

Panera began using only chicken raised without antibiotics 10 years ago and was one of the first chains to voluntarily post calorie counts on its menu boards, according to USA Today

Some of the additives on the chopping block are caramel coloring in roast beef, calcium disodium EDTA in horseradish, and maltodextrin and potassium lactate in citrus pepper chicken.

Panera founder and CEO Ron Shaich told USA Today the change is due in large part to a push from younger consumers, who are more concerned with possible health effects from chemical additives.

Other chain restaurants have made a push to cut artificial food additives in recent years, including Starbucks and Chipotle.

Starbucks announced in 2009 that it was working to remove artificial flavors, dyes, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners from its food.

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