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Panera Bread Attempting to Disparage Competitors’ Egg Sandwiches


In a fairly typical Panera Bread “we are holy than everyone else” approach to marketing, the Company is promoting a new range of egg sandwiches in part by disparaging their competition.

The company claims that their sandwiches will feature “100 % real eggs” without any additives including coloring agents, preservatives or flavors.  The “real eggs” range will include eggs, egg whites and added spinach and avocado. The spices included in the recipes ironically will contain additives, preservatives and flavoring agents, albeit in small quantities.

To support the promotional campaign Panera has asked the Food and Drug Administration to “define an egg”.  Given the speed at which the FDA operates and the possible complications as to what the Agency considers an “egg” Panera had better not hold their breath. The Agency has better things to do than initiate a Talmudic “chicken-and-the egg discourse or to become embroiled in Panera’s deviation from common sense.

Sara Burnett, Director of Wellness and Food Policy stated, “Panera and our competitors use the FDA definitions to guide our product descriptions and names.”  She added, “In the case of eggs, we have no guidance. Brands can say they offer an egg sandwich, but sell an egg product that contains multiple additives.”

Folded eggs included in QSR breakfast sandwiches may contain gums or stabilizers which are approved by the FDA but in no way lower the quality or safety of products but may in fact contribute to preservation of natural flavors and other organoleptic attributes.

The contention that Panera Bread is going to serve either a more nutritious or safer egg product than its competitors is fallacious hype and misinformation of Chipotlian proportions.  Marketing campaigns based on false claims frequently rebound to the detriment of the promoter.


(SMS 192-18 January 26th 2018)