Food - Drink
The Fast Food Menu Trend That Started With Panera
By STEPHANIE FRIEDMAN
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sanctioned a regulation that required large fast food chains to display the calorie content of their products on their menus, plus full nutritional info upon request. This rule rocked the boat for some companies, but others were ahead of the curve, including bakery chain Panera.
Panera was actually the original trendsetter for listing calorie counts next to menu items, years before the FDA required restaurants to do so. The chain began publicly displaying nutritional info as early as 2010, after customers reacted positively when informed of the calories in a certain menu item, the Asian sesame chicken salad.
Scott Davis, Panera's chief concept officer, said that calorie transparency "was a good thing for our business, not a negative thing." Panera previously demonstrated its commitment to healthier eating by eliminating artificial trans fats from its menu in 2005, and eliminated all artificial ingredients in 2017, according to Delish.