Daily Insights

Subway Sans Meat

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 13, 2020

Subway is introducing a meatless meatball marinara sandwich–a vegan-friendly take on one of the brand’s most popular subs. 

Currently, Subway is rolling out the meat-free sandwich in honor of Veganuary, and it features soy meatballs, marinara sauce, and vegan melted cheese. Subway has offered vegan and vegetarian-friendly items on its menus for some time now, but the Meatless Meatball Marinara is the first sandwich to be transformed from its original meat-filled state into a vegan version. Restaurants that want to capitalize on fan buzz and burgeoning health trends need to focus on timely releases, according to a Gartner report, as Subway is likely hoping to do with its Veganuary launch. The new sandwich touts meatballs made in partnership with the company Beyond Meat and is currently available across the United Kingdom and Canada, with a plan to roll-out in the United States soon. 

Subway created different campaign commercials for different regions to promote the new sandwich. Subway Canada enlisted the help of Martha Stewart who stars in a tongue-in-cheek ad showing people how to plant and grow their own meatless sub. In the UK, a group of vegans is brought together to taste-test the new sandwich but are horrified when one tester spreads a rumor that there is meat in the sandwich. The playful ad will run for six weeks across television, digital and social media platforms. 

With the rise of Beyond Meat, many fast-food chains have been announcing plant-based menu items to give more options to consumers riding the health wave. Subbing in a vegan option for an old favorite could make for a tasteful way to tap into the trends without sacrificing brand identity.