World News – US – Panera wants a slice of hot pizza category with new menu addition


Panera has added three new permanent pizzas to its menu, a play to attract more consumers

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest stories in the restaurant business since the March pandemic is how the pizza segment has thrived

In fact, locked out families want simplicity and familiarity Of course, it helps that pizza is versatile and shareable, and generally affordable.It’s also mobile, so when dining rooms across the country were forced to close, the loaded pizza delivery space had quite the advantage

The bakery chain starts selling three flatbread pizzas today – Margherita, & chipotle chicken, bacon and cheese – for $ 7.99

With this new permanent platform added to its menus, Panera becomes the second chain of pizza sales, just behind Domino’s and just ahead of Pizza Hut (Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza has made its way onto the chopping block)

In particular, Panera began testing flatbread pizzas last year as the chain began to focus on a dedicated dinner menu to gain share and mix during this time

In retrospect, the timing of this foundation worked in Panera’s favor According to Eduardo Luz, Panera’s brand and concept director, the chain’s breakfast business has been the most affected since that the COVID-19 crisis hit in March – a trend reflected by the entire industry – as dinner increased the most In addition, Panera’s off-site business has grown exponentially, with delivery alone up triple digits

“During the pandemic we have seen our customers and the entire market dramatically switch to offsite facilities In this environment, not only are people trying to avoid eating indoors, they are accessing food. later in the day and they want hot, shareable food Pizza checks all of those boxes, ”said Luz“ This offsite growth has given us the confidence to go big ”

It also forced the company to change its approach.When the chain began testing pizza before the pandemic, it landed on a product that included many items from Panera’s ‘clean ingredients’ pantry, including olive oil, fontina cheese and grape tomatoes

Once the crisis started, the chain, like many others, reduced its menu to simplify operations, with consumers turning to off-site orders A possible deployment of pizza remains a priority, however, But the product has been initially created with a catering customer in mind, and some attributes had to be changed to suit the home customer This basically means that the product had to be tweaked to travel better

« We were doing tests in the markets in late 2019 and early 2020 and that test changed due to the change in behavior towards offsite It was also new behavior for us because we are still designing our food to think about eating in Our food and packaging team worked together and said they would only try this if it was going to travel well If it wasn’t, we don’t launch it, « Luz said

Panera has adjusted the quantities of dough and cheese, as well as its packaging to maintain the temperature of the pizzas for an average travel time of 30 to 40 minutes

Luz adds that not only does the new line of pizzas fit well into these dinner and off-premises schedules, it also complements the rest of the chain’s menu. It is also very different from traditional pizza chains, he adds. As such, expectations are high

« The value for money is there and we will not be competing by handing over a lower quality product. We are competing with a higher quality product which is worth it », he said « This matches well with our salads and soups and I think this is a natural extension of the brand and a natural leap for consumers to make and it will make us even more relevant It adds to our proposition and expands the opportunities that people consider to Panera « 

It should be noted that the chain has already tried the “Crispani” pizza, in 2006 But the product and those “stuck at home” moments are very different now

A fully integrated media campaign to support the launch will take place next week and will feature Claes Petersson, Panera Director of Food and Innovation According to Luz, the post will focus on the ingredients

“You eat with your eyes and that’s what we are looking for We want a simple message to induce many lawsuits,” said Luz “We want to show that we are very different from anything that people have tried in the pizza category « 

I have been covering the restaurant industry since 2010 when I was appointed editor-in-chief of QSRweb I subsequently added casual beats and quick pizzas to my portfolio as Editorial Director of

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I have been covering the restaurant industry since 2010 when I was appointed editor-in-chief of QSRweb Later on I added casual and pizza beats to my portfolio as Media Editorial Director from Foodservice This coverage spanned the gamut of topics that make up the space from foodservice, marketing and customer service to supply chain and display technology My work has been featured in publications around the world including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Crain’s Chicago, Good Morning America, and Franchise Asia Magazine.I continue to contribute to numerous publications including QSRweb, Food Dive, Innovation Leader and the Digital Signage Federation

Panera Bread, Pizza

World News – US – Panera wants a slice of hot pizza category with new menu



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