how much Subway deserve to one human handle in a week? Kate Taylor Subway has actually gone indigenous the king of healthy quick food to a depressing punch line. But are thesandwiches to blame?
Givenfalling sales,the company has to be trying to success over consumers withnew food selection items and all-natural adjustments likeremoving man-made colors, flavors, and also preservatives indigenous its united state menu.
However, the sandwich chain encounters ample competition in the form of fast-casual restaurants choose Sweetgreen the offerlocally sourced ingredients.
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Worse, the company faces the stigma from previous spokespersonJared Fogle"s descent.
Looking in ~ Subway"s sales slump, ns wondered ifFogle"sdiet arrangement holdsup over time — or is that obsolete offered the development ofAmericans" dietary preferences?
In a search to find out, I chose to shot one of the most (in)famous diet plan of the 21st century: the Subway Diet.
Getty Images/Scott Olson
The Subway Diet was extremely successful once it come on the scene in the early on 2000s.
Student turnedformer Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle famously lost an ext than 200 pounds eat the sandwiches; Subway rental him in 2000.
Much that the chain"s growth in the early on 2000s to be tied come Fogle"s weight-loss success story, with Subway"s chef marketing officer as soon as crediting Fogle for as lot as half of the chain"s growth. Sales tripled to $11.5 billion in 2011, from roughly $3 billion in 1998, according to country Restaurant News.
However,what"s considered healthy has changed in the past five years, andFogleis right now serving a nearly 16-year jail sentence,after being chargedforhaving sex through minors and possessing child pornography.Subway cut ties v him last summer.
If Subway wants to stage a comeback, it demands tofind a way to appeal come discerning, health-conscious consumers and have a diet that stands out, jailedex-spokesperson aside.
My an initial and many important dominion was the I would certainly eat in ~ Subway double a day.
While Fogle stuck to the restricted menu ofone 6-inch turkey below for lunch and a footlongveggie below for dinner, pairing both meals through a bag of baked chips and also a diet soda, i was no going to maintainsuch a strict diet.
My rules: ns would only order native Subway"s Fit fresh menu. Ns planned to usage advice native Subway"s corporate dietitian, Lanette Kovachi, on just how to ideal maximize nutrition: stimulate nine-grain wheat bread, fresh veggies, and also cutmayo and creamy dressings.
SinceFogle allowed himself chips, I decided I can have political parties (and sometimes snacks) of mine choosing. In general, i would shot and keep a healthy and balanced diet. I wasn"t do the efforts to lose 200 pounds — ns was do the efforts to watch if twice-daily Subway was a feasible option for who trying come eat healthilytoday.
Still, it's a diet that not also Subway would certainly recommend.
Subway Facebook page
"We don’t expect people to eat all Subway,"Kovachi called me when we met at a Subway event in February."We want civilization to have a balanced diet."
ButKovachi additionally told me shebelievedthat the "Subway Diet"is embedded in the DNA the the chain. If Subway wants to restore its previous glory, it demands to reclaimthe Subway diet and also revamp it because that 2016.
The firm is making some strides. Kovachi saidthat the chain"s food selection had great variety in grains and vegetables, and also that it had actually solid choices for those looking to exercise section control— no 6-inch sub is much more than 600 calories, and the new Fit sandwiches room all less than 400 calories. Recently, she said, the chain hasbeen tryingto appeal to contemporary customers through emphasizing health positives, together opposed to the date no-fat trend.
I began my diet at an early stage Wednesday morning.
My plan for day 1 was a cost-efficientone. I would gain two Subway sandwiches because that the price of one, thanks to Subway"s breakfast deal that is offeringfree 6-inch breakfast sandwiches for the whole month of might with the acquisition of a 6-inch sandwich prior to 9 a.m.
Unfortunately, i forgot one thing — breakfastis Subway"s worst meal.
One look at the floppy eggs the Subway provides was enough to rotate my stomach.
I controlled to finish about 75% of mine egg-and-cheese breakfast flatbread, which tasted bland andonly slightly far better than that looked.
My lunchtime Veggie Delite v vinegar was slightly better. The Veggie Delite is basically salad top top a sandwich, something that i was able to enjoy at this point. (Spoiler: this enjoyment would certainly not last long.) The predominant flavor wasthe tangy banana peppers, the crown jewel in Subway"s topping selection, whichabated theforgettable bread and mediocre produce.
Ultimately, work 1 was a mess — and I only have actually myself come blame.
After emotion slightly queasy all day after mine breakfast sandwich, i decidedthat my two Subway sandwiches of the day intended I to be entitled come a burger, fries, and margarita because that dinner. Ns can try to justify this decision. (The burger place had margarita deals. I wanted to view friends. It to be Cinco de Mayo). But at the finish of the day only one thing stays true — I ended Day 1 v a stomachache.
Worse, i couldn"t also blame Subway because that my discomfort. I wasn"t trying to it is in healthy, even if I had technically complied with my Subway diet "rules," proving that there"s a the majority of room because that grave slipups ~ above the diet.
Day 2, i decided, was a brand-new day — the day I would follow the Subway Diet together was intended.
After a healthy breakfast that oatmeal, i purchased a carved-turkey 6-inch sandwich. The sculpted turkey is a relatively brand-new addition to the menu, and it"s muchbetter than its slimy take on the classic lunch meat.
However, after my lunch, I uncovered myself emotion strangely empty.
I didn"t want any an ext Subway, andI likewise had the strange feeling that I had just eaten the equivalent of a block the Styrofoam.The carved-turkey 6-inch has330 calories, follow to Subway, consisting of 25 grams that protein. In spite of this, at 4p.m. I felt dead — though the jury is still the end on if this is simply due to the fact that it to be Friday in ~ 4 p.m.
So i ate a half of a grilled cheese as a "snack."
Day 2 was the job that ns realized the the Subway Diet is impossible.
Have you tried to eat a Veggie Delite footlong? ns have! the is terrible.
My work 2 (minus the grilled cheese) was all about sticking come the initial Subway diet. Because that lunch: a turkey 6-inch. Because that dinner: a Veggie Delite footlong with vinegar and cheddar cheese.
I do it around one-third that the way through the sandwichbefore I came to be convinced I can not eat any type of more. The mix of bread and vegetables was somehow bothbrain-numbingly bland and increasingly repulsive with every bite. When the Veggie Delitehad tasted fine the ahead day, the idea of eating the whole boring sandwich currently seemed impossible.
I regulated to finish half of the footlong after taking an hour-long rest to drink wine, and convinced a friend to eat the other half. His review: "Feltlike i was eat flavored bread."
Day 3 revealed a how amazing bonus the the Subway diet.
I to be going to watch the America"s Cup in the Financial district in the beforehand afternoon, so determined to look for out Subway shops in the area.
There are seemingly countless Subway areas in brand-new York City — consisting of several in the area wherein I was headed. So ns was maybe to easily stop through a Subway ~ above the means there, without wasting any time.
When i ate nothing but healthy fast food because that a week, one of the positives i noticed to be thatI could find a fast-food restaurant pretty conveniently at any type of time the the work in brand-new York, rather of restricting myself to eating at residence or in search of restaurants that offered a specific kind of food. The Subway diet is similar: The chain hasmore 보다 26,000locations throughout the US, for this reason you"re constantly pretty close to a Subway.
I to be content, if not happy, through my roast-beef sandwich.
I had actually gone because that a run in the morning, and I felt reasonably nourished by mine roast-beef sandwich and also Sunchips. The meat, vegetables, and bread all developed together in a mainly tasteless, inoffensive sandwich. I didn"t hate it, yet I definitely didn"t love it. It to be sustenancein its many rudimentaryform — though i did effort toliven itup with this Instagram-friendly photo.
My dinner detailed a perfect instance of the stark contrast between food you enjoy and food friend eat in bespeak to endure (in this case, Subway).
When mine friends kindly invited me over because that dinner, ns told lock I would attend, but I would be happen my own food— Subway. They appeared concerned about my diet decision, however they i agree to enable me come eat my sandwich in peace.
As ns ate mine 6-inch rotisserie chicken sandwich with avocado and also vegetables, ns was win by exactly how glum and boring my tasteless meal felt in comparison to the scent of theirvegetarian carbonara andradicchio salad. I uncovered myself wondering if this was howpeople that went ~ above Soylent diets felt?
Part the this to be my fault — in an initiative to eat healthy, ns skipped the end on mayonnaise and also dressings that could pack a punch. Together a result, banana peppers to be the only element bring flavor to mine meals.
In the end, I finished up nibbling on part carbonara and also radicchio, and enjoying it infinitely much more than mine sandwich.
The next day, I damaged the cardinal rule of the Subway diet.
Burnt out after my boring dinner, ns went for a run and also put turn off breakfast ~ above Sunday morning, mostly because I didn"t want to think around my Subway lunch. Ns didn"t end up eat bagels until1:30 p.m. — making it much too late to cram 2 sandwiches right into my work 4 routine.
On the method home native my an extremely late breakfast, ns picked up a Subway sandwich (carved turkey with guacamole). After a few hours in the fridge, ns pulled it out to eat together dinner, only to discover the bread had actually partially disintegrated on top. I recognize this is a hazard one takes when eating a sandwich with avocado, but, v a heartier bread, this need to not it is in a concern.
I ate the sandwich as easily as possible, gagging a little.
I wasn't in a great place with the Subway diet as I entered Day 5.
I scarfed under a grilled-chicken sandwich v spinach because that lunch, barely tasting anything. (I had at this allude developed one aversion come iceberg lettuce.)
The smell of shower Shack washed end me as I satellite in Madison Square Park. Ns longed because that a delicious burger. Instead, i angrily chomped on some sunlight Chips.
Then something surprising happened. I ate the best sandwich I had encountered all week.
While talking v a girlfriend aboutmy annoyance through Subway, she revealed she was a vast fan of the chain. Intrigued, i asked her for she sandwich of choice.
Following her instructions, i ordered carved turkey, provolone, lettuce, pickles, banana peppers, and cucumbers top top nine-grain wheat bread. Ns skipped her pointer of jalapenos, but included her favorite dressing, sweet onion, which she told me was they key to a effective sandwich.
She to be 100% correct.
The sweet-onion dressing finally included some much-needed flavor come the sandwich, after ~ a couple days the mounting blandness. Further, ns was to run late because that an event, so i scarfed down the sandwich while rate walking the streets of Brooklyn. This might be the perfect method to eat a Subway sandwich — you"re no too focused on her food, and also needsomethingportable.
This was the finest sandwich I had actually all week.
On work 6, I required my Subway guru come eat lunch through me.
However, the Subway magic I had unlocked on day 5 go not proceed into job 6.
I acquired the exact same sandwich for lunch, substituting carved turkey for rotisserie chicken. However it wouldn"t host together — together I picked it up, it automatically fell apart, scattering chicken and veggies. The bread to be crumbly and maybe even a little stale. That was, when again, a fine sandwich, but not miscellaneous I enjoyed eating.
At this point, I had actually visited Subway eight times, therefore the smell of Subway areas was starting to epidemic my brain. I sat and ate my sandwich within this location, i beg your pardon I normally don"t do, so I gained a good whiff that the bready aroma. From the very an initial day, it has been a odor that provides me lose my appetite — something that only flourished worse v time.
Hoping come mix things up, i ordered a salad for dinner. This was no a good idea.
My salad was ... Wet. And also onion-y.
Still on my sweet-onion kick, I got spinach through onions, tomatoes, cucumber, carved turkey, croutons, and also sweet-onion dressing. What you check out is what you get with this one — the ingredients didn"t mix together an especially well, and also everything simply tasted type of wet. Sweetgreen it was not.
I ate the salad as quickly as possible, however the overwhelming taste the onion remained. The salad was around 20% onion.Even after eat a item of toast, one orange, a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and also brushing my this twice, the onion flavor lingered.
By job 7, ns was prepared for the Subway diet come end.
For lunch, ns ordered the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich, which had been encourage to me through Subway lovers. It to be passable — the teriyaki didadd a little flavor to the sandwich. However, at this point I was so scorched out by Subway, there was little the chain can do come redeem itself.
As ns chocked down my critical sandwich, a Subway Club, ns took share of the week.
Sandwiches eaten: 13
Money spent: $83.30, consisting of tax
Most inexpensive sandwich: 6-inch Veggie Delite, in ~ $4.64, with a cost-free breakfast sandwich on day 1
Best as whole sandwich: sculpted turkey, provolone, lettuce, pickles, banana peppers, and cucumbers ~ above nine-grain wheat bread, through sweet-onion dressing
One main on the Subway diet encouraged me that the chain will never ever again it is in on the cutting edge of health — at least not because that a an extremely long time.
True, many of Subway"s sandwiches space low-calorie options, and also customers can pack in proteinand vegetables. Yet calories are just one part of nutrition. Subway"s sandwiches room high in sodium. My favorite, the carved-turkey sandwich, reportedly has 890 mg, a little over one-third that the encourage 2,300 mg daily.
The real problem, though,is the I never felt healthy after finishing a meal. In spite of the company"s "Eat Fresh" motto,consuming a sandwich made with ingredients prefer floppy eggs and mostly tasteless veggies never feels half as fresh as something choose a salad indigenous Sweetgreen, whereby flavorful and often regional ingredients room front and center.
Subway is not a negative lunchtime option. However it's one the is still unprepared to compete with the plethora of up-and-coming fast-casual wellness brands.
The chain is making part genuinely hopeful changes, such together introducing sculpted turkey, i m sorry debuted in April and also quickly came to be my favorite protein in ~ the chain.
"The outlook for 2016 is an ext optimistic based on the an excellent feedback we got from our guests around our culinary improvements and exciting brand-new menu offerings," the firm said in a explain to organization Insider earlier in May.
Even with brand-new options, however, the chain didn"t have enough range or flavor to save me interested all week. By job 2, ns was tired by the sameness that every seemingly interchangeable interchangeable sandwich.
Apparently, I"m no alone.
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"While Subway continues to be a top choice for numerous consumers who love its selection and compete pricing, other consumers have end up being bored v the offering,"Neil Saunders, CEO of sleeve consulting for sure Conlumino, told business Insider"s Hayley Peterson previously in May. "This is particularly true of younger millennials who favor a much more diverse selection of options, including salads and also healthier choices."
After a main of eating Subway twice a day, ns agree. Ultimately, the sandwich chainhas failed to stay fresh — somethingitneeds to solve if itever wants to trulybe the leading destination for healthy rapid food.