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Some of the items on offer via Panera Grocery are already on Panera’s regular menu, including whole loaves of bread, apples, bagels and tubs of cream cheese.

Panera Bread starts selling groceries in wake of coronavirus pandemic

Panera Grocery offers bread, dairy and produce applicable for loyalty program rewards

Panera Bread is joining the growing number of restaurant chains that are leveraging their sourcing capabilities to provide for the basic food needs of their customers by offering groceries.

The St. Louis-based fast-casual chain is offering baked goods, dairy and produce at its more than 2,000 locations available for takeout — through Panera’s rapid pickup, curbside pickup or drive-thru — as well as delivery. They can be ordered with Panera’s regular menu items or separately on the chain’s website or app. Panera Grocery purchases are applied to reward points in the chain’s MyPanera loyalty program, and the current offer of $5 off of purchases of $15 or more applies to groceries as well.

“From limited choices on grocery shelves to the growing need to limit the number of trips outside of the home, it is an incredibly stressful time when it comes to putting wholesome food on the table, and we knew Panera could help,” Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary said in a press release announcing the new offerings. “With this new service we can help deliver good food and fresh ingredients from our pantry to yours, helping provide better access to essential items that are increasingly harder to come by.”

Some of the items on offer via Panera Grocery are already on Panera’s regular menu, including whole loaves of bread, apples, bagels and tubs of cream cheese.

The following items also are available:

  • Avocados: $1.49 each
  • Tomatoes: $1.49 each
  • Blueberries: $2.99 for 6-ounce container
  • Red Grapes: $5.99 per bag of around 2 pounds
  • Greek Yogurt: $5.99 per tub
  • Kids’ strawberry or mixed berry yogurt tubes: $7.99 for 16
  • Skim or 2% milk: $4.99 per gallon

Other chains also have started offering groceries, including Frisch’s Big Boy, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Tender Greens and California Pizza Kitchen are offering pre-selected grocery packs, and Subway is testing grocery sales in Southern California.

Additionally, Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão is offering its premium cuts of meat for guests to cook at home. On Wednesday, Chicago-based McDonald’s Corp. said its restaurants in Australia will begin selling menu ingredients as groceries, as well. 

“The first round of convenience foods available at McDonald’s includes full cream and skimmed milk, English Muffins, and gourmet bread rolls. We expect to extend the range of core convenience offerings to include eggs and other products in the coming weeks,” the chain said. 

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@informa.com 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary 

Updated: This story was edited to include details about McDonald’s restaurants selling groceries in Australia. 

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