Subway to market healthier choices to children

by Eric Schroeder
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MILFORD, CONN. — Subway Restaurants, the world’s largest restaurant chain with more than 40,000 locations in 100 countries, has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America. As part of its three-year commitment to promoting healthier choices to children, Subway said it is launching its largest child-targeted marketing effort, including new campaigns geared toward increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and the implementation of new marketing standards for its meals for children.

As part of its commitment, Subway said it only will offer items on its children’s menu that meet strong nutritional guidelines informed by federal standards for the National School Lunch Program, including offering apples as a side and low-fat or non-fat milk or water as a default beverage.

Additionally, the chain will deliver $41 million in media value in the next three years to market healthier options to children and families, with a specific focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. This is the brand’s largest child-focused marketing campaign to date and includes general marketing, in-store merchandising, television, social and digital media and public relations. Training materials will teach Subway employees to encourage children to choose apples, and in-store merchandising and marketing will focus on these healthy options.

“Ending childhood obesity is a cause that has been near and dear to Subway since we introduced the Fresh Fit for Kids Meals in 2007,” said Suzanne Greco, vice-president of R.&D. and operations for the Subway brand. “With this partnership with P.H.A., we will now reach millions of kids as part of a healthier eating education campaign, making it our largest outreach campaign to date. From a sign on each restaurant’s door that says ‘Playtime Powered by Veggies’ to a video collaboration with Disney’s The Muppets, we will build upon our ongoing efforts to create even better choices for families. We hold ourselves to the highest standards in the industry when it comes to speaking to children and their families. Now we are letting everyone else know what that standard is.”

Specifically, during each of the next three years, Subway said it will offer on its Fresh Fit for Kids menu items that:

• contain fewer than or equal to 600 calories, including no artificial trans fat, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat and less than 935 mg of sodium.

• provide ½ cup of fruit equivalent and ¾ cup vegetable equivalent; and low-fat milk, non-fat milk or water as the default beverage.

Founded in 2010, the P.H.A. was created in conjunction with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. The effort is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of the nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis.
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