Industry News | March 3, 2009

Panera Tops Health Magazine's List of Healthiest Quick-Serves

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Health magazine recently named Panera Bread the healthiest restaurant in the country in the fast food restaurant category. In the March issue, Panera was praised for offering customers the choice of apples or baked chips as a side item, Panera's You Pick Two half-size soups, salads and sandwiches, and antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken options. The expert judging panel also recognized Panera's children's items, including squeezable organic yogurt, PB&J (with all-natural peanut butter), and grilled organic cheese on white whole-grain bread.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by Health magazine for offering a 'comprehensive menu of healthy choices for every meal,'" says Ron Shaich, Panera Bread's co-founder, chairman & CEO. "We strongly believe that every detail matters, which is why we work so hard to offer our customers a variety of quality, wholesome ingredients. This recognition serves as great reinforcement for Panera Bread to keep giving our customers menu options they can feel good about."

To conduct the research for this article, an expert panel of dieticians and nutritionists surveyed and scored the nation's 100 largest fast food chain restaurants based on factors such as the use of healthy fats and preparations, healthy sodium counts in entrées and availability of nutritional information, among other criteria.