JAB Holding Company, parent company of a range of food and drink brands, has combined three of its subsidiaries — Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels — into Panera Brands, the combined company announced on Thursday, August 5.
The news release noted the quick growth of the fast-casual space relative to other restaurant industry categories, describing the new company as a “powerhouse platform” in the space. Indeed, a March analysis conducted by Technavio reveals that the fast-casual space will grow almost 8% each year in the next several years, rising by US$28 billion between 2021 and 2025.
As Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and now group CEO of Panera Brands, said in a prepared statement, “We believe Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels together will leverage each company’s unique expertise and services to build an unrivaled fast-casual platform with a tremendous runway for growth.”
The new company combines Panera Bread’s 2,156 locations, Caribou Coffee’s 713 locations across 10 countries, Einstein Bros. Bagels’ 1,005 stores total (a figure that includes Einstein Bros. Bagels-branded locations as well as Bruegger’s Bagels), Noah’s New York Bagels, and Manhattan Bagel locations. In terms of unit count, this puts the chain well ahead of other leading US-based fast-casual chains, with Chipotle totaling just over 2,800, Panda Express over 2,200, and Five Guys under 1,700.
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