ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Panda Express marks a milestone today on its continuous journey to elevate its signature recipes and bring fresh thinking and delicious food to guests. Driven by its mission to inspire better lives, the restaurant announced its behind-the-wok efforts curated over the last decade and shared its timeline for recipe elevation over the next five years. Just in time for National Nutrition Month, the company revealed plans to implement menu changes including new ingredient introduction, sodium and sugar reduction, as well as the elimination of artificial flavors and colors, among other initiatives—all developed in partnership with trusted industry experts. Appealing to a variety of tastes and preferences, Panda Express believes in real food that tastes good and feels good for the body and soul.
As the pioneer of American Chinese cuisine, Panda Express remains committed to delivering delicious food with integrity and offers freshly prepared choices without sacrificing flavor. Now, the brand is making the Panda Promise™: a menu evolution inspired by what today's diners are looking for, designed to continuously advance their beloved menu of flavor mashups that bring together innovation, quality and comfort in unique executions only found at Panda Express. From veggie-packed entrees to savory sides, Panda Express consistently rewards guests day-in and day-out with thoughtfully crafted choices for their mood and lifestyle.
"So many of our guests tell us that they don't want to choose between food with flavor and food that fits healthy-ish and busy lifestyles," said Andrea Cherng, Chief Marketing Officer at Panda Express. "Over the last several years, our culinary team has made progressive changes to our recipes so that we can offer a variety of dishes that taste and feel good. There is more work to be done to bring our pledge to life but with time we are confident in the positive changes that we will make."
Panda Express' ongoing commitment is evidenced by past and ongoing efforts including:
Fresh vegetables from whole to cut, hand-chopped and wok-tossed for the entrees
Ongoing reduction of sodium in menu items over the last five years
Introduction of raised without antibiotics chicken for all limited time offers (debuted with Sichuan Hot Chicken in July 2019)
Introduction of cage-free eggs in 2020, with nationwide adoption in 2025
Protein-filled and low-calorie entrees with at least eight grams of protein and 300 calories or less, making up over half of the menu
To put its intentions into action, Panda Express worked through the process with industry experts, including Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Amy Gorin, who provided valuable industry and consumer insights as well as recommendations for each initiative.
"As a fan of Panda Express, I'm proud both on a professional and personal level to advance the vision and commitments the restaurant brand has embarked on," said Amy Gorin, MS, RDN. "We're seeing an uptick in conscious consumption from consumers, especially with Millennials and Gen Z, even when it comes to the fast-casual space. It's rewarding to see brands like Panda Express prioritizing their guests' evolving needs as quality eating continues to be top of mind for families nationwide."
About Panda Express On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express, an American Chinese original, is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,200 locations throughout the U.S. and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to more than ten international countries. Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares, the organization's philanthropic arm, has contributed more than 140 million dollars and countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 12 million youths as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. For more information, visit pandaexpress.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.