Food Products & Recipes

Panera offers more Plant-Based Foods

PaneraPanera seems to get it. Somewhere a light bulb has been lit. Their food policy director, Sara Burnett, puts it well when she says, “We know that guests are increasingly seeking plant-based proteins for personal health reasons and/or to reduce their environmental impact. To that end, we have been adding plant-based proteins like edamame and organic quinoa to our pantry of ingredients.”

Touting plant-based protein at a mainstream restaurant chain is a big deal. “It’s the first national chain that I’m aware of that’s ever said that,” said Josh Balk, senior food policy director for the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s hugely significant.” The fact that Panera has come forward and made a statement about plant-based protein means we’ll likely soon see other chains added to the list. “Plant-based is the next big issue,” Balk said. “We’re at a tipping-point for plant-based foods.”

It’s smart business. More and more chains are expanding their vegetarian options and Panera wants to stay ahead of the curve. Plant-based diets are definitely the trend. This comes on the heels of the company’s announcement last year when it committed to “clean ingredients,” meaning no artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives.


About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or


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