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Panera Food Interrupted

Panera Bread launches ‘Food Interrupted’ campaign

Video series promotes increased transparency in food production

Panera Bread has launched a marketing campaign aimed at food transparency that includes new nutritional menu labeling and a video series exploring food issues, the company said Tuesday.

Dubbed “Food Interrupted,” the campaign centers around a video series following what the St. Louis-based company called “everyday heroes” dedicated to changing America’s food system. 

The first episode, titled “Grains Interrupted,” features celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and Jon Hammond of Weiser Family Farms. Both discuss the importance of ancient grains and their role in the future of food. 

The Food Interrupted episodes will be shown on Facebook Watch, the social network’s year-old video site. Future episodes, rolling out weekly for the next six weeks will feature chefs, actors and social media personalities exploring such issues as plant-based diets, sugar consumption, egg production and cattle farming technologies.

CEO Blaine Hurst said big chains like Panera must lead by example to make real change in the food system. 

“At our size and scale, we believe it’s part of our job to help revolutionize the food industry from the inside out — challenging the way things have always been done,“ Hurst said in a statement. 

Dovetailing with this campaign, Panera Bread also said it plans to disclose the whole grain content of breads on its menu starting Tuesday.

“On all breads over 50% whole grain, Panera now labels servings of whole grain per slice, roll or bagel, as well as the whole grain percentage, so guests know exactly what they are eating,“ the company said. 

The chain said that it is the first national restaurant company to “post whole grain” content on its bread. 

The move follows several years of marketing in which it has underscored its efforts emphasize “clean ingredients” and increase transparency around the food it serves.   

The brand, owned by JAB Holding Co., joins fast-casual competitor Chipotle Mexican Grill when it comes to launching recent campaigns championing food transparency. In late September, the Newport Beach-based fast-casual chain launched its “For Real“ campaign, which showcases the brand’s menu of 51 “real” ingredients such as garlic, honey, cloves and lemon juice.

Restaurants may want to follow suit if they want to win the next generation of consumers, according to a recent study by The NPD Group. The market research firm said Gen Z and millennials “prefer food and beverages with transparent labeling and an absence of artificial ingredients.”

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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