Par-Baking at Panera Bread

Panera Bread has received a lot of attention for planned menu changes that add new items and remove some old favorites, but the company’s planned changes go even further.

One of the potential changes is how the bakery functions. At the moment, Panera’s bread dough is made at a fresh dough factory (FDF), and immediately transported to individual stores to be baked fresh daily.

Panera Bread is now considering the use of par-baking, the process of partially baking bread […]

The Demise of Self-Checkout?

Self-checkout has been an ongoing approach by retailers to reduce the need for cashiers and lower costs. However, many retailers are reevaluating their use of self-checkout.

Five Below has reduced the use of self-checkout, especially at stores that have higher “shrink.”  Shrink is a term used to describe “theft and other inventory loss.”  Dollar General is removing self-checkout at 300 stores with the highest shrink.

Target is also making changes to self-checkout in response to high shrink. Self-checkout lanes have […]

Shrinkflation Grabs National Attention

Shrinkflation is a well-established practice of shrinking the amount of product in a package while maintaining the price, which increases the price per unit.

This tactic has been used by many food producers, and other industries as well. However, the practice has recently come under attack by many, including U.S. President Joe Biden.

Recent examples of shrinkflation include Gatorade reducing its drink size by 12%. Double-Stuffed Oreos now weigh 6% less. Some particularly interesting examples are Darigold Milk reducing the size of […]

Taco Bell’s Menu Expansion

Taco Bell plans to add over 25 items to its menu in 2024.

This is in contrast to the company’s more recent strategy of reducing the size of the menu to reduce complexity, and keep service times low.

Additions to the menu include the introduction of the Cantina Chicken menu in March 2024, which includes five items: Cantina Chicken Burrito, Cantina Chicken Taco, Cantina Chicken Quesadilla, and Cantina Chicken Bowl. The Cantina Chicken line requires five new ingredients, including […]

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