The test item, a rosemary focaccia roll, will be marketed to customers as “gluten-conscious,” as its storage beside gluten-containing offerings could create problems for customers with severe sensitivities, Yahoo says.
While other concepts may have beaten Panera to the gluten-free punch, the fast casual’s head baker implies the new product is worth the wait. “I went kicking and screaming into the world of gluten-free bread as an artisan baker,” Tom Gumpel told Yahoo. “There is little to no good-tasting gluten-free bread in this country, and I’ve eaten about every slice there is.”
In Detroit, the rosemary focaccia roll will cost $1 if purchased on its own, an additional $1.50 if bought on a sandwich and 75 cents extra when chosen as a side, Yahoo says.
Panera’s foray into gluten-free items comes as the company makes strides to strip its menu of artificial ingredients, an effort it aims to complete by next year.