Shopper warns against buying Panera mac and cheese from store after ‘splurging’ on it and it only coming with 14 pasta shells

Stan Reese/Adobe Stock @jayces_username/TikTok (Licensed)

‘There’s not even 15’: Shopper warns against buying Panera mac and cheese from store after ‘splurging’ on it and it only coming with 14 pasta shells

'The broccoli cheddar soup is literally all milk now.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Mar 22, 2024   Updated on Mar 22, 2024, 10:37 am CDT

What takes the “comfort” out of “comfort food?” Shrinkflation. According to one Panera customer who says his side dish splurge was less than filling, even good old reliable mac and cheese is feeling the pinch of the corporate bottom line.

The Mac & Cheese advertised on Panera Bread’s website appears to be a fairly hearty portion. Even the photo of the small portion shows a heaping bowl of pasta covered in cheese sauce.

But the bowl TikToker Jayce (@jayces_username) says he received falls well short of the dish featured in the company’s advertising.

Jayce features the purported purchase in a video posted to his TikTok account on Thursday. The video has already picked up over 31,700 views and counting.

Jayce captioned the video, “Two teaspoons of cheese please @Panera Bread thoughts on this??” In it, he shows a saucepan on the stove containing a sparse handful of pasta shells swimming in sauce.

“So I’m making this Panera mac and cheese, and tell me why there’s no ‘mac and,'” he says, referring to the lack of pasta.

Jayce then counts the pasta shells one by one, ending on a total of fourteen pieces. “There’s not even fifteen noodles.”

He even strains the sauce off through a sieve, ending up with only a palmful of macaroni. “Oh boy,” he says sarcastically after transferring the side to a small bowl and sitting down to eat.

Jayce does not show any container or bag with Panera logos, nor does he show a receipt of any kind. However, he seems to be referring to the “Panera at Home” Mac & Cheese, which is sold at grocery retailers like Target, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh in 10, 16, 20, and 24-ounce varieties. The Daily Dot has reached out to Jayce via TikTok direct message and to Panera Bread via its website for comment.

@jayces_username Two teaspoons of cheese please @Panera Bread thoughts on this?? #panera #shrinkflation #worldhunger ♬ original sound – Jayce

One viewer noted, “Pasta is SO cheap too….”

According to, “In 2023, a pound of spaghetti or macaroni would cost consumers in the United States about 1.38 U.S. dollars.” Panera’s website does not indicate whether the company makes its own pasta or purchases it at market price.

Jayce’s viewers seemed to agree that the mac and cheese portion was skimpy, and some shared their own complaints about Panera’s portions.

One simply wrote “the lack of mac:/,” adding a broken heart emoji.

Another added, “You’re being generous about some of those noodles counting as actual noodles.”

Several viewers also complained about the chain’s broccoli Cheddar soup.

Drea (@melleauxjelly) wrote, “Omg this is me when I buy the broccoli & cheese soup! I just get cheese soup with broccoli crumbs, only time I got broccoli was with the big container.”

“Dude their broccoli cheddar soup has like 0 brocs now,” another added.

Another commented, “I had the same experience with the broccoli cheddar I will never buy Panera EVER.”

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*First Published: Mar 22, 2024, 3:00 pm CDT