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By Adam Campbell-Schmitt | FoodAndWine.Com

Troy Warren #foodie-all

The Earth Day promotion highlights the bakery chain’s focus on low-carbon footprint meals.

Spring is here and with warm weather comes the irresistible urge to get out of the house and take in what the season has to offer. Couple that with pandemic-related self-isolation and travel restrictions and perhaps spring is putting you in mind to live your best provincial countryside life in which you ride your vintage bicycle into town, grab the day’s groceries and then make your way home with a baguette jauntily protruding from your bike’s wicker basket.

Or maybe you want the entire basket to just be bread. Then has Panera got the wheels for you!

Starting today, fans of the bakery chain have the opportunity to cruise around in the sunshine while riding a vintage-style bicycle that celebrates one of Panera’s most famous menu items: The bread bowl.


The green- and off-white-colored Bread Bowl Bike is meant to highlight the brand’s Earth Day-related initiatives, including its “Cool Food” menu items which meet the World Resources Institute’s benchmarks for being less taxing on carbon emissions and the environment—that includes all of the chain’s soups (yes, even Broccoli Cheddar). Plus, there’s the very practical eco-friendly benefit of taking a human-powered bike on your errands instead of a fossil fuel-powered car.

On the handlebars, the Bread Bowl Bike features an insulated basket in the shape of, you guessed it, a Panera sourdough bread bowl. Ostensibly you could either keep your takeout soup hot or your sandwich cold, whichever you fancy. Panera says it will be giving away 30 of the bicycles, so to get your chance to win one, head to breadbowlbike.com between today and April 22 to sign up.


It’s not the only convenient(?) bread bowl-themed contraption the brand has thought up, either. Earlier this year the brand debuted its bread bowl-shaped hand warmers especially designed for holding an iced coffee in the dead of winter, because (and I speak from experience) there’s no weather that isn’t iced coffee weather.


But not all of Panera’s recent promotions have to do with giving out some bread bowl swag. Last month the restaurant chain teamed up with chef and philanthropist José Andrés to release a documentary talking about hunger and food insecurity during the pandemic. Panera also pledged to donate $100,000 to World Central Kitchen in addition to making local meal donations in Washington D.C.


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