Panera's New Hot Sandwich Finally Brings Back a Long-Awaited Ingredient
Between the soups, salads, sandwiches, bowls, and an array of bakery items, there aren't many classic lunch options that you can't find at your local Panera Bread. But there is one popular lunch staple that has been noticeably absent from the bakery-café chain's menu in recent years: ham.
Customers have been reporting since 2020 that Panera cut ham from the menu, leaving them to grieve beloved options like the Heritage Ham & Swiss Sandwich. However, Panera is finally ending its longstanding ham drought next week with the debut of a brand-new Black Forest Ham & Gouda Melt as part of its popular Toasted Baguette sandwich line.
The new sandwich features Black Forest Ham plus Panera's new country mustard, arugula, and smoked gouda on a toasted baguette. Though the menu item is launching nationwide on June 22, members of the MyPanera rewards program have early access starting today.
In even more exciting news, the Black Forest Ham & Gouda Melt won't be the only ham item hitting menus next week. Panera is also adding a new Deli Ham sandwich made with the same ham, emerald greens, sliced tomatoes, red onions, and the new mustard on Country Rustic Sourdough.
"We're so excited to bring ham back onto the Panera menu, and our focus was on enhancing these sandwiches with amazing, unforgettable flavor that we knew our guests would love," Claes Petersson, head chef for Panera Bread, said in a statement. "Our chefs created our new delicious country mustard, finding the perfect blend of three mustards to compliment the flavors and create two irresistible new menu items we can't wait for guests to try."
The Black Forest Ham & Gouda Melt launch will expand Panera's line of Toasted Baguette sandwiches that debuted in January this year. The early 2023 launch represented the first time that the brand created sandwiches using its classic French baguette. According to Panera, that innovation is paying off. The company said that the line has become its "top-earning sandwich" in the few months it has been available.
The Toasted Baguette Line includes the Green Goddess Caprese Melt, Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt, and Smoky Buffalo Chicken Melt. All of the Toasted Baguette sandwiches start at $9.49, while the Deli Ham sandwich starts at $8.99.
In other Panera news, the company also debuted a new Southwest Caesar Salad with Chicken and brought back its popular Strawberry Poppyseed Salad in April, giving customers two lighter options to choose from for the warmer months of the year.