The truth is eye-opening. 

By Ananda Eidelstein
August 22, 2017

When deciding what to order at fast casual restaurants you might glance at the calories listed on the menu. You might even glimpse at the grams of sugar per serving in your drink. Depending on the numbers, it might sway your decision—or not. But what do all those numbers mean anyway? Panera is breaking it down on the sugar front with their new Panera Sweet Cup launching nationwide this week.

The Sweet Cup identifies how much sugar is in a 20-oz. serving of their fountain drinks by printing the number of teaspoons of added sugar per drink right on the side of the cup. The new cup clearly displays the facts and, they hope, empowers guests to make informed choices at the counter.

This isn’t Panera’s first effort to increase transparency. Back in April, they launched teas, lemonades, and frescas made with no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavors or colors while also labeling the calories and added sugar of each beverage. This made Panera the first national restaurant company to post this nutritional information at the point of pour.  

“With up to 75 grams of sugar – just one 20 oz. soft drink contains more than the recommended daily amount of added sugar,” Panera CEO Ron Shaich said in a statement in March. “While we won’t tell people what they should drink, we want to provide real options and real transparency—and we’re challenging the industry to join us.” 

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Now that it’s been made incredibly easy for us to understand the amount of added sugar in our drinks, it makes it extra hard to look the other way. And that's pretty sweet.