Panera Bread is preparing to celebrate a decade of serving meat “raised without antibiotics,” and is turning research efforts to the possibility of adding beef and pork products to the mix.
The company began serving meat raised without antibiotics in 2004 when it used chicken meeting the restrictive requirements on its Strawberry Poppyseed Salad.
Panera now offers 23 meat items raised without the use of antibiotics including all of its chicken, roasted turkey, sausage and ham used in its salads and sandwiches.
Scott Davis, Panera's Chief Concept Officer, says there wasn’t a national supply when the company first decided to serve meat raised without antibiotics.
Livestock producers are sure to keep an eye on Panera’s marketing strategy, should it release beef and pork products raised without antibiotics as similar promotions by the company have been misleading.
Panera has offended livestock producers in past advertising efforts centered around its products raised without antibiotics. An ‘EZ Chicken’ campaign in 2013 implied livestock producers who used antibiotics to treat their animals when they’re sick were lazy.
Responses from agricultural leaders prompted Panera to remove portions of the campaign.