In news that sounds like a headline from our sister site The Onion, Panera Bread—yes, the fast-casual bakery/café chain—has released a limited-edition swimwear collection with the theme of “soup.” Literally, one of the one-piece swimsuits just has the word “soup” on the front. Capitalism at its weirdest!
More specifically, Panera’s “Swim Soup” swimwear was apparently inspired by broccoli cheddar soup in both its color palette and design. Despite its deliciousness (which makes sense because it’s mostly cheese), broccoli cheddar soup is not known for being particularly beautiful—in fact, I’d argue it’s one of the ugliest-looking soups out there. But apparently to the movers and shakers at Panera Bread HQ, there is nothing more beautiful and beach-appropriate than the image of a broccoli floret covered in melted cheddar cheese.
For those of you who are also wondering both how and why this oddly themed and entirely unnecessary swimwear line exists, a Panera press release may shed some light. “It is officially the hottest time of the year, and over 70% of people say the hot weather does not stop them from eating soup. For this group of year-round, hot soup aficionados, Panera sees you, and celebrates you with the launch of the new Swim Soup Collection.”
Nope, I still don’t understand.
Before it sold out in less than a week, the Panera Swim Soup collection contained two one-piece swimsuits and two pairs of swim trunks, both of which were available in a vaguely vomit-like green or the broccoli cheddar print. The collection also apparently contained a pool float shaped like a bread bowl, which I will now be spending a disgusting amount of time searching for on Facebook Marketplace. The suits were available in sizes XS to 4X and were sold through Panera’s online system. Unfortunately for those of you who were deeply intrigued by the description of this obviously stylish swimwear, Panera told Glamour that they have “no plans to restock at the moment.”
I can’t help but wonder which fast-casual eatery will be the next to release their own completely random clothing collection. I could see Chipotle putting out some burrito (and burrito bowl) branded workout clothing. For Sweetgreen, I think the best bet would be to release a line of lettuce-themed bucket hats. And yes, I am available as a food-item-to-fashion-line consultant.