Panera CEO on removing artificial ingredients, minimum wage

Panera CEO Ronald Shaich on the company's removal of artificial ingredients from its menu, FDA regulations and the minimum wage debate.

Panera CEO: We Jumped on Anti-Trans-Fat Bandwagon First

By Business Leaders FOXBusiness

The FDA is cracking down on the use of trans fats in foods, and Panera Bread CEO is no stranger to the movement.

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CEO Ronald Shaich told FBN’s Stuart Varney that the company has been removing artificial trans fats from its food for “half a decade.”

According to Shaich, Panera products are free of chemicals, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.

“Basically we are trying to give consumers a transparent line in the sand that they know the food is of the highest quality,” he said.

Shaich says Panera was one of the first companies to jump on the anti-trans-fat bandwagon, starting with the removal of antibiotics eleven years ago.

“The interesting thing to me is 11 years later we have McDonalds (MCD), Chick fil A following us. We have any number of companies that are finally coming around to it. And what’s interesting is, we did it a half a decade ago. The world is following us,” he said.

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When it comes to government getting involved with what you eat, Shaich said he thinks some regulation is good.

“I think the government needs to establish policy. I think it’s productive when they do. I think that most of us often are hesitant and there are things that are done for the general good. I think if they are applied to everybody, there’s a positive,” he said.

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