Summary List Placement
Subway just introduced a new menu item outside of the chain’s usual lineup of sandwiches, called protein bowls.
The protein bowls are essentially just the contents of any Subway sandwich in a bowl, without the bread. Any footlong can become a protein bowl, Subway says, with “the same portion of protein, vegetables, cheese and sauce.” Though it’s the same filling as a footlong sandwich, Subway emphasizes how much meat is in the bowl.
“Pile up the protein with a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Protein Bowl. And we really mean pile,” the description on one sandwich reads. Bowls cost the same amount as footlongs with the same protein.
Subway already sells salads, but protein bowls contain about twice the amount of meat as Subway salads, Brand eating reported. For an extra $2, customers can double the protein in bowls and footlongs. While that promotion is for a limited time, Subway says protein bowls are a permanent addition to the menu.
Subway is appealing to two current fast food trends with this addition.
First, eliminating bread and focusing on protein content can appeal to customers following a keto diet. Keto-friendly fast food options have been on the rise in recent years. In 2019, Blaze Pizza unveiled a keto pizza crust option made from flaxseeds, eggs, and cheese instead of wheat flour for a net of six grams of carbs. More recently, Chipotle introduced cauliflower rice for keto customers, along with its own bowls designed specifically for followers of Keto, Whole30, vegan, and vegetarian diets.
Subway is also using a celebrity to promote high protein options, enlisting former NFL Pro-Bowler Marshawn Lynch. Celebrity promotions aimed at young customers have been hugely successful recently for McDonald’s with the Travis Scott meal and Dunkin’ with The Charli. Like both other celebrity collaborations, Subway’s protein bowls use already existing menu items to draw in customers, a move analysts have praised.
In other words, brands could harness the energy and excitement of a new product without actually adding anything.