Cream Cheese: Starbucks, Panera Bread

If you’re like me, a good bagel isn’t complete without a creamy, dreamy spread of cream cheese. And if you’re a fan of grabbing a bagel and coffee on the go, you’ve probably tried the cream cheese offerings at both Starbucks and Panera Bread.

But have you ever stopped to wonder what’s in that creamy goodness?

Starbucks and Panera Bread are two giants in the coffee and bakery industry that serve cream cheese spreads with their bagels. Over the years, they have made several changes to their bagel menu and the cream cheese.

Does Starbucks Have Cream Cheese?

Yes, Starbucks does offer cream cheese as a topping for its bagels and muffins — usually as part of its bakery menu items. They offer a variety of cream cheese options for their customers, including plain, veggie, and flavored options, such as herb and garlic, honey walnut, and blueberry, particularly during seasonal offerings. Additionally, for those looking for a healthier option, Starbucks offers reduced-fat cream cheese with 30% less fat and calories.

Starbucks provides not only their signature plain cream cheese but also an option of Kraft cream cheese, catering to customers who prefer a classic and familiar flavor. The nutrition values are similar, you can learn more in our previous article here where we discussed the best & healthiest cream cheese brands with Kraft Philadelphia as the #5.

While you can request butter without an additional charge, the cost of cream cheese typically ranges from $0.50 to $1.50, depending on your location. It comes in a 1.5 oz small container.

Starbucks Plain Cream Cheese Spread, INGREDIENTS: Milk and cream, water, whey, cheese culture, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative), lactic acid, guar gum, carob bean gum, xanthan gum.

Starbucks cream cheese is made with a blend of ingredients that include stabilizers and preservatives (anti-fungal). The exact ingredients may vary based on the flavor of the cream cheese. Some Starbucks cream cheese flavors may also contain additional ingredients such as fruit or nuts. You can check the container label or ask a Starbucks barista for more information on the ingredients in a specific flavor of cream cheese.

What Brand of Cream Cheese does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks has its own in-house brand of cream cheese. It also uses a variety of brands for its cream cheese offerings, including Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Miyoko’s creamery (for vegans & vegetarians), and Pauly cream cheese. The specific brand used and availability can vary on location, but Starbucks sources its cream cheese from reputable brands to ensure quality for its customers.

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Starbucks has a long-standing relationship with Kraft’s Philadelphia cream cheese brand. In 2010, Kraft sued Starbucks over a distribution dispute for packaged coffee products but it was resolved read detail. Despite this, Starbucks continued to offer Kraft cream cheese as an option and has since developed its own brand of cream cheese, read this thread “Dear Starbucks, I’d really like a better cream cheese please.”. Today, both options are still available at Starbucks locations.

Miyoko’s Creamery Cream Cheese

Starbucks began offering Miyoko’s cream cheese as a vegan and dairy-free option for its customers in 2019. Miyoko’s cream cheese is made from organic nuts and is a non-dairy alternative to traditional cream cheese. Starbucks offers this option as a spread for its bagels, catering to customers with dietary restrictions or preferences. The addition of Miyoko’s cream cheese has expanded Starbucks’ menu offerings and helped the coffee chain cater to a wider range of customers. It’s only limited to selected locations and comes in 1.5-ounce packages with Everything and Cinnamon Raisin flavors. In addition, Starbucks is also testing out vegan whipped cream.

Beatrice’s Pauly Cream Cheese

At present, Starbucks primarily utilizes Pauly’s cream cheese at its Asia-based locations, such as in Hong Kong and South Korea. Pauly’s is a brand owned by Beatrice, which was acquired by ConAgra Brands. ConAgra is an American food company that owns a number of popular brands, including Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher’s, and Marie Callender’s, among others.

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What is in Starbucks Cream Cheese?

The ingredients for Miyoko’s vegan, organic cream cheese are cashew milk (cashews, filtered water), organic coconut cream, organic cane sugar, sea salt, cultures.

Other flavors may also contain raisins, ground cinnamon; Or poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion.

Please be aware that cashews and coconut may cause allergic reactions for some people.

For Starbucks non-vegan plain cream cheese spread, the ingredients are milk and cream, water, whey, cheese culture, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative), lactic acid, guar gum, carob bean gum, xanthan gum.

See how cream cheese is made in my other article.

Pasteurized or safe for pregnancy?

Although it’s not labeled with [pasteurized] milk and cream, Starbucks Cream Cheese is very likely pasteurized in accordance with FDA law. Read more about cream cheese and pregnancy.

For Miyoko’s plain cream cheese (1oz):

  • Calories – 90 Kcal
  • Total Fat – 8 grams (10% daily value)
  • Saturated Fat – 2.5 grams (13% daily value)
  • Cholesterol – 0 mg
  • Sodium – 115 mg (5% daily value)
  • Carbohydrates – 4 grams
  • Protein – 3 grams
  • Calcium – 0 mg

In the past, they had several different types of cream cheese including plain, hazelnut, and blueberry discontinued over listeria fears.

If you’re a fan of Panera’s cream cheese, don’t worry – they still have the classic variety.

Does Panera Bread still have cream cheese?

The answer is yes! In addition to their classic plain cream cheese, they now also offer honey walnut and chive & onion spread. Both of these are great options if you’re looking for something with a little more flavor.

That’s to say, the other varieties such as veggie, hazelnut, and blueberry cream cheese are no longer available. Some are seasonal, for example, the strawberry cream cheese in summer.

They are now using reduced-fat cream for their flavored cream cheese by default. Therefore, flavored cream cheeses have lower calories than plain.

They do not offer vegan cream cheese alternatives.

How much is Panera’s cream cheese?

You can buy Panera’s plain cream cheese for $1.60 per container (1.75 ounces). Also, you can upsize to the tub for $3.39 (8 ounces).

Is Panera Bread’s cream cheese pasteurized? Ingredients?

Yes, all of Panera’s cream cheese are using pasteurized cream and milk, with other basic ingredients such as salt, stabilizers (Guar, Locust Bean, And Xanthan Gums), and Cheese Culture. So, it’s safe for pregnancy.

What brand of cream cheese does Panera use?

Panera did not disclose the brand of cream cheese they use for their product. However, they likely ordered from suppliers as they did not produce their own cream cheese.

They have labeled Neufchâtel as the ingredient used. Neufchâtel is a variety of cream cheese with lower fat content than regular cream cheese. Read Cream Cheese vs Neufchâtel.

The ingredients and nutritional values are similar to Philadelphia cream cheese.

What is the expiration date of Panera’s cream cheese?

The expiration date for Panera cream cheese is approximately two to three weeks past the expiration date. Once opened, it should be used within a week refrigerated. The dates are stamped on the bottom/side of each container.

Both vegan and regular cream cheese have high calories, fat, and saturated fat content, so be sure to enjoy it in moderation. You can learn in my other blog post about Is Cream Cheese Actually Healthy?.

Reference:

  1. Panera Bread – Spreads
  2. Starbucks Coffee – Bakery Bagels
  3. Livekindly – Starbucks Vegan Cream Cheese
  4. Miyoko’s Classic Cream Cheese
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