BROOMFIELD, COLO. — Noodles & Co., a fast-casual chain with more than 470 locations, said it has removed all artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners from its noodles, sauces, soups, condiments, bread and dressings. Items not affected by the changes include beverages, cookies and rice crispy treats.
The company also has committed to serving meat and poultry never given antibiotics or hormones by 2017. Noodles & Co. began its commitment to clean ingredients in 2012 with the introduction of naturally raised pulled pork nationwide. The chain plans to expand its options of protein never given antibiotics or hormones with bacon starting this month, steak and meatball options by mid- to late-2016, and chicken by early 2017.
Additionally, the chain is launching a new petite baguette that is free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners and will begin offering hormone-free cheddar jack cheese by November. Noodles & Co. also plans to test a new hormone-free cheese sauce for its Wisconsin mac and cheese dish.
The menu changes come with new brand positioning focused on “Real Food. Real Cooking. Real Flavors.”“Food knowledge and transparency are top of mind for our millennial guests,” said Mark Mears, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. “More than ever, they want and expect real food that they can feel great about eating and serving their families. They are looking for a restaurant that can provide a fresh, homemade cooking experience for them, so they can spend that extra time nourishing their most cherished relationships with their family. We take pride in our dishes and don’t want our guests to worry about what is in them.”