Panera Bread Drops Charged Lemonade Amid Lawsuits and PR Nightmare

New York – Panera Bread has announced the removal of Charged Lemonade from its menu, a highly caffeinated beverage that has stirred controversy and legal issues for the company. The decision to eliminate the drink comes after facing multiple lawsuits alleging health complications and even deaths linked to the high levels of caffeine in the product.

According to reports by Bloomberg, Panera will be phasing out Charged Lemonades from its menu within the next two weeks. The chain has not provided a specific timeline for the removal of the drinks. In response to the backlash and legal challenges, Panera plans to introduce new low-sugar and low-caffeine drink options, such as a blueberry lavender lemonade, pomegranate hibiscus tea, citrus punch, and a tropical green smoothie.

The introduction of the Charged Lemonades was part of a new beverage subscription program launched by Panera in April 2022. Despite the controversies surrounding the drink, Panera opted to keep it on the menu until now, as immediately removing it could have been perceived as an admission of fault.

Crisis PR experts have weighed in on Panera’s decision-making process, highlighting the delicate balance between legal concerns and public perception. The company’s recent menu transformation, focusing on core menu items like sandwiches and salads, has been well-received by customers. Panera spokespersons have expressed excitement about the revamped menu and listening to feedback from thousands of guests.

Panera’s decision to go public again later this year coincides with efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. The chain recently laid off corporate staff and is reported to be adjusting ingredient standards to reduce expenses. As Panera navigates these changes, the removal of Charged Lemonade signals a strategic shift towards offering healthier and more diverse beverage options to its customers.