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‘DairyCarrie’ takes on Panera

Carrie Mess, a Lake Mills, Wis. dairy farmer, has taken Panera Bread Co. to task over a marketing initiative she says uses fear to sell chicken sandwiches. And, she's now teamed up with the Animal Agriculture Alliance to send follow-up letters to Panera, seeking others to help solidify their position about the company’s anti-antibiotics campaign.
Mess, who recently joined DairyBusiness Communications as Social Media manager, is one of the nation’s top advocates for dairy producers, blogging (dairycarrie.com) about her adventures on her husband Patrick’s family dairy farm. Her displeasure with Panera resulted from a recent stop at the restaurant, where she learned of the company’s “EZChicken” campaign in a menu.
When she checked the company’s website, Mess found Panera’s marketing campaign featured an animated chicken, called EZ Chicken, made to look like a medicine capsule, and implying competitor restaurants served chicken from poultry raised on antibiotics because “It's just easier.” The Panera animation also including a red barn made of drug capsules, and indicates “Hard work pays off eventually, but lazy pays off now.”
Writing in her blog, Mess said the Panera campaign labeled producers who use antibiotics as “lazy.”