Panera Bread Co. will begin to roll out new labeling of added sugars and calories in sodas and other self-serve fountain beverages, the first such move by a U.S. restaurant chain as food companies face rising demand from consumers to cut back on their use of the sweetener.
The move comes at a time when casual restaurant chains from McDonalds Corp. to Starbucks Corp. have been under pressure from slack demand and underscores the pressure that soft-drink makers are facing as sales decline.
The U.S. government last year said that companies need to detail how much added sugars are in packaged foods, but restaurants do not have any such requirements. Governments worldwide are also seeking to impose taxes on sweetened beverages.
Panera will also introduce six new low- and no-sugar teas and lemonades, an extension of the bakery chain’s shift away from artificial sweeteners and flavors rolled out last year, company executives said in an interview.