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Panera’s New Menu Item Is Long Overdue

Panera Bread is finally testing out a new option for its gluten-sensitive customers.

The company’s new Rosemary Focaccia Roll is made from white sorghum from Africa, as well as sprouted broccoli, chia and flax seeds, Yahoo Food reported.

I went kicking and screaming into the world of gluten-free bread as an artisan baker,” said Tom Gumpel, the head baker for Panera, according to the outlet. “There is little to no good-tasting gluten-free bread in this country, and I’ve eaten about every slice there is.”


Panera is calling the Rosemary Focaccia Roll “gluten-conscious” rather than gluten-free because despite it being made in a gluten-free facility and with gluten-free ingredients, it will be stored and served alongside the store’s other products, which could still make it a bad idea for those with extreme sensitivities.

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease where ingesting gluten damages the small intestine, is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Panera’s new gluten-conscious bread will be available in 15 stores in the Detroit area starting at the end of October. It will be available nation-wide in the second half of 2016, Yahoo Food reported.