Panera for hire: Chain seeks to help rivals 'clean up' menus

MarketsAssociated Press

Panera Bread, which has made an effort to strip artificial colors and sweeteners from its food, says it'll help other companies do the same.

The chain says it formed a consulting business that other brands can hire to help tweak their menus. Ron Shaich, Panera's founder and chairman, says rivals would be willing to work with Panera because they have already asked for advice in the past. But now the company wants to turn that into a business.

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Removing artificial ingredients has become a popular move for food companies wanting to attract people who have become increasingly concerned about what's in their food. Panera says the Clean Consultant business would help companies identify changes they can make in their menu and direct them to suppliers to make the changes.