Two years after Panera announced its commitment to "clean" eating, the mega-chain announced in January 2017 that it had reached the finish line. Panera systematically eliminated the 96 ingredients on its No No List, ingredients as varied (and common) as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein and FD&C colors. “Panera is the first national restaurant company to make such a comprehensive commitment and, more importantly, to meet it,” the company proclaimed.
It won’t be the last, however. Many of the nation’s largest restaurant chains are working to clear their menus of ingredients that health-conscious consumers find objectionable, and 2017 may be the year that “clean eating” truly goes mainstream in the foodservice industry. Is it worth making the switch? Here’s a closer look at what the big brands are doing.