Panera Rolls into the Pizza Category with Launch of Three New Flatbread Pizzas

Yesterday, Panera announced the launch of Flatbread Pizza – a new menu category from Panera, rolling out nationwide this week. With an emphasis on delicious, craveable food people can feel great about, Panera’s newly-appointed Head Chef Claes Petersson has fine-tuned three new flatbread creations, featuring extra finely ground flour for delicate yet crisp crust, topped with delicious, hearty ingredients. Expertly crafted from Panera’s pantry of clean ingredients, new Panera Flatbread Pizzas are available in Cheese, Margherita and Chipotle Chicken & Bacon, providing real choice and options for pizza night.

“At Panera, baking is at the core of who we are and what we’re known for – we knew that we had all the elements to bring our delicious, hearty flatbreads to life,” said Petersson, Panera’s Chief Food & Innovation Officer. “With the launch of Flatbread Pizza, we are looking to redefine the expectation of pizza and carve out a niche for Panera in the pizza category. Our Flatbread Pizzas encompass the best of what Panera has to offer: clean, delicious ingredients from our pantry on top of oven-baked flatbread that is expertly crafted for our guests.”

Priced starting at $7.99, Cheese, Margherita and Chipotle Chicken & Bacon flatbreads begin with a foundation of crispy dough that is finished on a pizza stone and then topped with delicious and clean ingredients including fresh mozzarella and fresh cilantro and basil. Each represents a hearty and satisfying meal for one or a shareable plate for family and friends alongside a Panera salad or soup. With the launch, the brand wants to offer customers an exciting new category that gives guests more variety and options than ever before.

“Our guests choose Panera because they want to eat delicious food, that they can feel great about eating. Flatbread Pizzas – done the Panera way – are the perfect offering for this moment and beyond,” commented Panera Bread Chief Brand & Concept Officer Eduardo Luz. “Our guests have been asking for this for years. We think Panera’s bread heritage and outstanding ingredients meet both the desire for high quality, crafted pizza as well as a growing customer off-premise behavior.”

Today, Panera has doubled its delivery business, with more than half of its sales occurring via off-premise channels. While consumed nearly as frequently at lunch as dinner, Luz further noted the company anticipates pizza will become a strong anchor for the company’s growing dinner business. Pre-COVID, Panera had started to invest in the dinner business, a daypart that without much historical dedication had represented more than 30% of the company’s sales. 

With a simple, unwavering commitment to serve food people crave but also feel great about, Panera Flatbread Pizzas mark the second entirely new category Panera has entered in roughly a year.