Panera's New Fall Latte Is Inspired By This Fan Favorite Bagel

When it comes to autumnal lattes, one may assume that Starbucks dominates the field with their Pumpkin Spice Latte. According to a press release sent to Mashed, Panera Bread has decided to give Starbucks a run for their money and distill fall into a cup with their new Cinnamon Crunch Latte. The chain's Cinnamon Crunch Bagel serves as the inspiration for this new limited-time drink and you can't deny it has some serious popularity — the bagel currently sells over 5,000 units per hour.

According to the press release, the new latte launches on September 1 and consists of an espresso base with whipped cream, cinnamon syrup, and a sprinkling of Cinnamon Crunch topping. In case you have any doubt, Panera Bread wants to take down Starbucks and their "basic" Pumpkin Spice Latte. Panera boldly claims, "It's time to upgrade your 'basic' tendencies and explore a new fall latte – because, let's face it, Cinnamon Crunch trumps Pumpkin." This challenge sets up a brazen competition between the brands and crowds may fall in love with Panera's new drink.

The bagel behind the latte

Until the Cinnamon Crunch Latte launches, the best predictions you can make about Panera's new drink comes from examining the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel. In a Thrillist ranking of Panera Bread Bagels, the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel sits squarely at the top. As Thrillist notes, the caramelized sugar on the bagel resembles the exterior of a crème brûlée, while the interior features the perfect pillowy texture. Hopefully, the positive aspects of the bagel translate into a successful drink.

Of course, the Cinnamon Crunch Latte probably won't crunch. It will more likely feature a sprinkling of slightly toasted cinnamon and might have issues translating the namesake bagel's pillowy texture. Either way, the pure cinnamon flavor in Panera's new coffee may come off as a less complex version of pumpkin spice, as the latter consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice (via Wide Open Eats). In the end, Panera Bread has taken a gamble on people wanting a straightforward cinnamon drink, and with any luck, they may just strike gold with this new offering.