The New Subway Sandwiches: More Hummus, Less Meat?

You may have already been putting hummus on your sandwiches for decades, and now Subway is just now getting on board. Since April, it has been testing the spread as a topping for its Subway sandwiches in several locations, and if it does well, you can expect to find hummus at Subways across the country.

Why add hummus – the once only-for-hippies condiment – to the menu? Because the market wants it.

As the AP reports, Tony Pace, Subway’s chief marketing officer, has pointed out that, “people in their 20s are more “nutritionally aware” than any other past generation. In coming years, he predicted their eating habits will force the restaurant industry to adapt their menus.”

But it’s not only the hummus. Apparently Subway is cutting down on meat as well. From the AP:

In a separate interview, Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca said the chain also started testing thinner slices of deli meat in December. In the test, which is taking place at restaurants in Illinois, DeLuca said franchisees are putting 12 slices of meat on a Footlong sandwich, instead of eight. He said the meat is the same but that it’s just sliced thinner to improve its “bite” and appearance.

Less meat, more hummus? Hey, even the bread doesn’t have shoe rubber chemicals in it anymore, and Subway is busy touting it’s fresh, homemade bread. These are not the Subway sandwiches we are used to.

Does this mean we should celebrate Subway as the new cornerstone of healthy eating? Not so fast. While the chain has tested thinner slices of meat, that doesn’t mean the entire chain will adopt the policies. And even if the slices are thinner, they’re still processed meat stuffed with nitrates and forms of MSG.

Subway is also in the business of selling foot-long sandwiches. Foot-long sandwiches. It’s hard to make an argument for someone really needing 12 inches of sandwich. And as it turns out, while there are healthier options, the average Subway consumer isn’t going for them. In fact, the average subway sandwich purchased comes in at 784 calories. How many calories does the average sandwich purchased at McDonald’s contain? 582.

Just as unhealthy as McDonald’s? That doesn’t really make you want to grant Subway the health food award of the year now does it? As usual, it’s all how you spin the marketing and numbers, and while it’s nice to see fast food places offering more plant-based options it doesn’t mean that we should put them on a pedestal.

Related on Organic Authority

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Image: hirotomo t