Panera Bread has identified approximately 150 artificial additives and preservatives that will be removed from the restaurant’s food by 2016. The now-banned substances range from tert-butyl-hydroquinone to high fructose corn syrup. Steps to remove these ingredients are already being taken in stores across the United States and Canada.
Panera’s announcement represents a larger trend in the industry. Recently, McDonald’s promised to create healthier menu options, Kraft decided to remove synthetic colors from its macaroni and cheese, Nestle started making candy bars without artificial flavors, Chipotle opted to only use food that does not contain genetically-modified organisms, and both Coca Cola and Dunkin’ Donuts stopped using certain chemicals in their products. From all appearances, this trend is growing in momentum and popularity, however, whether it becomes the state of the food industry remains to be seen.