Panera Introduces Low-Caffeine Drinks After Listening To Customer Feedback

Panera Bread is listening to feedback from over 30,000 guests and taking the health and safety of its customers in a move that comes as the company faces allegations that its Charged Lemonade drinks caused two deaths and left another customer with long-term heart problems.

“We listened to more than 30,000 guests about what they wanted from Panera and are focusing next on the broad array of beverages we know our guests desire — ranging from exciting on-trend flavors to low-sugar and low-caffeine options,” Panera said of its recent menu changes. The company’s new beverage offerings include a “Blueberry Lavender Lemonade” among other options.

Panera introduced its Charged Sips line in the spring of 2022, with the fruit-flavored beverages containing between 155 milligrams and 302 milligrams of caffeine. The drinks helped meet customers’ growing demand for natural drinks with functional benefits like boosting energy or immunity.

But tthe high caffeine content of the Charged Sips beverages has come under scrutiny following the deaths of Sarah Katz, a 21-year-old college student with a heart condition, and Dennis Brown, a 46-year-old man from Fleming Island, Florida. Both individuals allegedly consumed Charged Lemonades before their deaths.

After reviewing the impact of the mislabeling and considering customer feedback, Panera updated its labeling to clearly indicate the caffeine content in its drinks. This proactive approach demonstrates Panera’s commitment to transparency and customer well-being, setting a positive example for other businesses to follow when addressing similar issues.