Panera Cool Food Meals are a first for the restaurant brand

New Panera Cool Meals Meals, photo provided by Panera
New Panera Cool Meals Meals, photo provided by Panera /

Panera Cool Food Meals change the reason to order favorite Panera menu items.

How do you choose your Panera order? With the new Panera Cool Food Meals, there is an additional reason to order your favorite Panera meal. That Panera menu item can make a difference, not just satisfying a craving. It can make a difference for the planet.

The new Panera Cool Food Meals are meals that have a low impact on the climate. In collaboration with the World Resources Institute, these Panera menu items have a low carbon footprint. While many people choose menu items based on calorie counts and ingredients, now guests can choose based on a meal’s environmental impact.

Daniel Vennard, Director of Sustainable Diets at World Resources Institute, said “Cool Food Meals have a low impact on the climate, making them a delicious way to help the planet. This new certification is about spotlighting the dishes that help people build climate-friendly lifestyles.”

According to studies, “six in ten Americans say that they have seen impacts from climate change in their community.” While many people have seen and even felt those environmental impacts, they do not know how they can help or make a difference.

With “25% of greenhouse gases created from food production,” what and where people eat can make a difference. Through this Panera Cool Food Meals, consumers can feel better about their food choices.

According to Niren Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, the brand understands that this initiative is about giving its guests choice. “Understanding the impact of what we eat on the environment is one way we can all take a small step toward combatting climate change—so as a food company, we feel a strong responsibility to share this information and empower our guests to help make a difference.”

Since the customer is at the heart the of everything it does, this program works within its philosophy. “With 55% of Panera entrees certified as Cool Food Meals,” guests can have many delicious Panera menu food options.

Looking at the Cool Food Meals, many fan favorite Panera menu items are included. From the always popular Broccoli Cheddar Soup to the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, there is a Panera menu item that satisfies every craving. Basically, more than half of the Panera entrees are part of this program.

The complete list of Cool Food Meals can be found at Looking at the list of menu items, the choices tend to focus on options that have a vegetable component. Vegan and vegetable forward meals tend to have a lower carbon footprint. Still, there are many, many options on this menu.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if other restaurants will adapt this type of labeling. Similar to calorie counts on menus, this environmental impact labeling could an additional factor for guests to make an informed choice.

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What do you think of the Panera Cool Food Meals? Would this program change your Panera menu order?