Cinnamon and Soy at Panera

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

Panera Bread does a great job offering soy-free options, so even though their allergen menu could be improved we love to eat there. Since we know what the soy-free options are, we always seem to order the same thing. Recently we ate at Panera and then started looking into their online allergen menu in a little more depth. In doing so, we found something odd: everything with cinnamon contains soy.

 Panera has many soy-free options, but avoid cinnamon to stay soy-free - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Panera has many soy-free options, but avoid cinnamon to stay soy-free - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

On the surface these two products shouldn't be correlated. Cinnamon is a spice that doesn't need soy to be effective and Panera's food is largely soy-free; they even have some breads (which typically contain soy) that are soy-free. As a result, it seems odd to have soy in products based solely on the presence of cinnamon. 

We couldn't come up with a solid answer for why this occurs, and it is possible that this is just a coincidence, but it seems like Panera uses a cinnamon ingredient that contains soy in their products. We aren't sure which form of soy it is: it could be a cinnamon-paste with oil, or perhaps a cinnamon blend with soy lecithin, but we now know to avoid cinnamon at Panera.

 Cinnamon doesn't inherently contain soy - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Cinnamon doesn't inherently contain soy - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

For us, this information doesn't have too much of an effect since we already knew what menu items were soy-free. But, it does help us when considering new foods, or in those split-second decision scenarios that happen if they are out of a particular product.

Have you ever seen soy and cinnamon together before?