Many fast food companies have started to address consumers’ desires to eat more consciously – and Panera has been on the frontlines of helping consumers make better dining choices. What started with the “No No List” has evolved into a series of commitments to take ‘clean eating’ mainstream. And the café chain isn’t stopping anytime soon. The next step in the menu cleanup process is focused on informing consumers about Panera’s beverage options with each sip they take.
Panera began its beverage menu crackdown by launching a new line of iced teas and lemonades that have no added sugars. But the new drink options were just the start. The company is arming consumers with an education scheme — new ‘sweet facts’ fountain beverage cups which share beverage nutritional information directly on them. Although health nuts may go the extra mile to find out what exactly is in their food, the everyday consumer more often than not has no idea what a healthy amount of sugar is in terms of grams. Therefore, by including nutritious facts of several drinks including sodas, consumers are able to compare each option and make an informed decision. This seemingly small stunt creates frequent reminders, sparking conversation around health and keeping consumers informed about Panera’s progress towards its ‘clean menu’ goal.
Whether it’s sourcing from local suppliers or providing organic options, consumers want companies to be transparent about the food they’re purchasing. Research shows that the most effective way to communicate CSR efforts is on product packaging. Panera’s ‘sweet treat’ cups not only provide transparency into the company’s efforts to clean up its menu, but also serve as a more consistent reminder that can sway consumers to make the healthier choice for their next meal.