This Might Be Why Panera Discontinued Its Clam Chowder

Panera Bread's soups, sandwiches, and tasty café options have helped the fast-casual restaurant become one of the most popular in the United States, generating a whopping $5.9 billion in sales in 2019 alone (per Statista). Even though Panera's menu has changed through the years to make room for new options, fans still flock to the café for coffee, sandwiches, salads, and of course, their famous mac and cheese.

Today, Panera Bread's menu offers nearly a dozen cozy soup options and according to employees, its broccoli cheddar soup is one of their all-time favorite menu items (per Business Insider). Customers can enjoy their favorite soup, whether it's wild rice or summer corn chowder, in a regular bowl or in a famous Panera bread bowl

While a few menu favorites have disappeared, including the chipotle chicken and the tomato and mozzarella paninis, the company has also discontinued its clam chowder, which has some dedicated fans up in arms. Reddit users who loved the creamy soup took to the platform to get to the bottom of why the chain stopped selling the seafood favorite.

A combination of reasons may have led to the removal of Panera's clam chowder

When companies discontinue a product, they don't usually let consumers know, rather, it just quietly disappears from the menu or the store shelf. This was the fate of Panera Bread's clam chowder. While the fast-casual chain didn't announce the clam chowder's departure, those looking for their favorite soup took to Reddit to ask questions.

When one user asked why Panera discontinued the chowder, they were met with surprising responses from others who appeared to be Panera employees. One answer explained that Panera "decided that we would no longer have daily rotating soups and instead have the same soup selection each day." The participant also shared that this helped make the staff's lives easier and was a good way to lower costs, further noting that the chowder didn't smell great and had a short shelf life.

"At my café we never really sold much, we always ended up throwing so much away every day we had it," another Reddit user wrote, suggesting the soup simply wasn't successful enough. A few others concurred with that statement.

Though Panera hasn't fully explained why they removed the soup, it could be a combination of staff distaste, cutting costs, and overall poor sales.