Skip to comments.Subway: The New King of Junk Food
Posted on 04/08/2006 7:29:41 AM PDT by Cvengr
What's the largest fast junk food chain in the country?
It's not McDonald's.
Subway overtook McDonald's last year in the United States and now has 15,874 locations in the U.S. compared to 11,533 for McDonald's.
Worldwide, Subway has 21,528 restaurants in 75 countries.
McDonald's has more than 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries.
Subway founder Fred DeLuca says he wants 30,000 outlets worldwide by 2010.
Of course, Subway would not want you to think that it is not a fast junk food chain.
In fact, the privately held firm has overtaken McDonald's by riding a wave of publicity featuring Jared Fogle, who says he lost 245 pounds on the following diet coffee for breakfast, Subway sandwich for lunch, and Subway sandwich for dinner.
Soon, the word was out you could lose weight eating Subway sandwiches.
And tomorrow, on the National Mall, Subway founder and CEO DeLuca will join with Fogle, the American Heart Association, members of Congress (including the corporate liberal Rose DeLauro, D-Connecticut, whose district contains Subway's corporate headquarters), and various "nutritional experts" to "galvanize support for fighting childhood obesity."
We went and visited our local Subway and found that in fact, there was health and diet information displayed, including a nutritional and dietary guide with the American Heart Association's stamp of approval.
But as at most fast junk food outlets, Coke machines, the rows of bags of chips, and the rubbery chicken and unappetizing beef were screaming unhealthy, stay away.
You could order a salad, or a vegetarian sandwich. The chain markets seven subs with six grams of fat or less.
But for the most part, the staple of this franchise is processed meats and cheeses, soft drinks and chips.
Subway sandwiches include such classics as Steak and Cheese, Subway Melt (a first class blend of turkey breast, ham, crispy bacon, and melted cheese) Italian BMT (pepperoni, genoa salami, and ham) and the Cold Cut Trio (turkey based ham, salami, and bologna) not your typical heart healthy sandwiches.
Should members of Congress and the American Heart Association be promoting this multinational junk food company?
Of course they shouldn't.
The American Heart Association has sullied its reputation by getting in bed with whatever corporation comes around with its checkbook open.
According to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Heart Association has taken big corporate cash from a long list of drug companies, junk food companies, and even from the National Livestock and Meat Board, which gave $189,000 to sponsor a HeartRide cycling series "to help ensure that people don't think that AHA recommends abstaining from meat."
In return for endorsing only Bayer aspirin, AHA gets $500,000 a year from Bayer. Nice deal, if you can cut it.
And how much money has Subway kicked in?
According to the AHA, Subway has given $4 million to the American Heart Association (AHA) since 2002, and will gave an additional $6 million through 2007. That's a total of $10 million.
In exchange, Subway gets to put the AHA "fighting heart disease and stroke" logo on its materials throughout its chain of stores, according to an AHA spokesperson.
In a written statement, the AHA said it will only accept sponsorships from "those restaurants that have a public/market positioning associated with healthy foods or have heart-healthy and non-fried food alternatives on the menu."
"Subway actively promotes low-saturated fat meal options and exercise in their advertising messages," the AHA said in the statement. "Their messaging reinforces that a well-balanced diet and exercise are important tools in maintaining a healthy weight."
We agree with Commercial Alert's Gary Ruskin that it's "not the proper role of the federal government or public health groups to hawk Subway or any other form of fast or junk food."
"This is part of the broader story of the corruption of the American public health movement," Ruskin said. "AHA ought to drop its support for Subway. They have been converted into an auxiliary marketeer for Subway. They are apparently for sale."
"The fast food companies are running in a panic over the obesity epidemic," Ruskin said. "They are striving to do something to make it seem that they are not responsible for it or part of it. This is just one more way that companies like Subway try to hide their tracks and boost their public relation images."
The government and independent public health organizations should be helping the American people fight off the hyperbreeding of fast food outlets cannibalizing the country not promoting it.
In addition to promoting his beloved Subway and making millions a year doing so, DeLuca wants to bring an Indian gambling casino to Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Call it the junk food/junk economy connection.
According to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, DeLuca invested $10 million in the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation's successful effort to gain federal recognition so they could build a casino in Connecticut. Blumenthal is challenging that recognition.
And the House Government Reform Committee is in the middle of an investigation of how the Schaghticoke Tribe and the Eastern Pequots gained such recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Earlier this year, the Hartford Courant reported that a rival band of Indians charged that the federal recognition of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation "was hijacked by outside investors and high-priced lobbyists intent on winning a lucrative gambling franchise for their own benefit."
Whether or not the investors and lobbyists hijacked the process we'll leave to federal investigators.
But what is clear is that Subway and DeLuca have hijacked the American Heart Association, Congresswoman DeLauro, and various federal agencies to promote their own brand of fast junk food.
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, http://www.multinationalmonitor.org. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press; http://www.corporatepredators.org).
(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
This article is posted at: http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/corp-focus/2004/000181.html
I was shocked that Bayer would encourage homosexuality amongst preeteen adolescents and then have the nerve to associate their product with medical advise. I haven't found a copy of the ad to confirm the exact wording, but the message was clearly sent. Meanwhile, I discovered this intereting beit of trivia between the AHA and Bayer.
Crappiest sub I've ever had. 2 paper-thin pieces of roast beef, 1 piece of cheese, and a tiny amount of lettuce and tomato. No wonder that fat slob lost all that weight eating there. It's 95% bread. I've never gone back and never will.
Is anyone holding a gun to the customer's heads forcing them to buy the less healthy alternatives? You can get a diet soda and baked chips just as easily as the higher fat and calorie options.
Congress has no business concerning itself with what people eat. The American Heart Association is a sham.
Subway donates considerable money to liberal causes. If you want to help support the democrat party then eat at Subway, because a portion of every dollar you spend there goes in the democrats political pockets and almost none in anything conservative.
The american public health association is one of the foremost liberal support groups in the United States. The work they do with grants keeps the liberal activists funded in your area as well as the rest of the country.
Now I'm hungry
Our WalMart Supercenter here in North Little Rock, is converting it's cafeteria area to a SubWay Franchise operation.
I don't know if this is a "trial" run or if all the WalMart Supercenters Nationwide will have Subway, but if so, they hit the jack pot!
I wish the busybodies would just open up their own cabbage, tofu, and brussels sprouts emporium and compete in the marketplace with everyone else.
So "Yay Go AHA, It's your birthday!"
I don't know if this is a "trial" run or if all the WalMart Supercenters Nationwide will have Subway, but if so, they hit the jack pot!
It appears to be happening nationwide . . .
Quizno's seems to have much better subs.
There may be more Subway locations than McDonalds', but I'll bet MickeyD's shows substantially more gross revenue. Just because you can open a Schlubway in every strip mall from here to Kingdom Come doesn't mean they make any money.
I love Quizno's. Toasty!
If the American Heart Association shouldn't be taking donations from Subway, the AIDS Coalition shouldn't be taking money from gays.
This article is ostensibly focused on highlighting the 'evils' of cooperation between corporate fast food giants, the government, and the AHA. But, notice how deftly the propagandist switches gears between bashing Subway for the purported unhealthfulness of much of their menu, to bashing the CEO of Subway for the totally unrelated issue of his personal investment in an Indian casino opportunity.
Clearly the junk food angle in the article is a mere pretext for the true agenda of the author. These Commies are so predictable that it is laughable...
Subway sells bread and lettuce. There's no junk there because there's no there there.
I think the commercial says "overcome hemophelia" or some other blood disease, totally different stuff.
As for Subway this writer uis a whiney jerk. Basically he's declaring Subway not healthy because, horror of horrors, you can eat unheathily there. Gloss over the fact that it't the easiest fast food place to eat smart at and jump all over the availability of chips and soda.
The Wall Mart in Clinton Mississippi
just recently closed one kind of eating place I don't
remember what and replaced it with a Sub Way.
Yep, I am sold on Quizno's. No pretense of healthiness, just good ol' lipquivering goodness.
Quizno's should ditch the baby commercials and do a Subway parody: "I gained 245 pounds by eating nothing but Quizno's subs for a whole year!"
Actually Subway is following exactly McD's expansion pattern, in both franchises and revenue, but having read the McD's book they managed to shave about 15 years off the clock. McD's crossed 10,000 stores in the mid-80s, SubWay crossed 10,000 stores in only 10 years. And of course for most of the 10 years McD's has been suffering through some very bad decisions that have seriously hurt their bottom line, they tried to move away from their core market of burgers and lost tons of revenue because of it; they finally listened to every business analyst on the planet a couple of years ago and went back to being a burger joint and the profits have gone up, but they lost a lot of expansion opportunities in that era.
I prefer the neighborhood italian sub place called Santoro's
Matt and Tony's was really good, but they are gone. SAD.
Sub way is ok, but too much like McDonald's
Are all Subways the same? I ask this because my local Subway has a large selection of hot and cold sandwiches, and if you don't like soft drinks you can get milk, which I do. I stop in about once a month, and the last thing I would call it is 'junk food'.
Subway is one lame chain.
I'll never eat at a Subway again. They're on my permanent boycott list for that cartoon in Europe they put out a couple of years back making fun of America on 9/11.
Quiznos is much better. But a sub made by one's loving husband is even better.
That's why it's so easy to lose weight eating their subs.
They make, bar none, the worst subs I've ever had in my 56 years on planet earth.
Hear, hear. I find Quizno's to be almost as bad.
Maybe the gals thought you should lose weight?
Use a different approach the next time like I do. I'm not a wild asshole. I always connect with the cuties that make my food and get a steaming hot pastrami with melted swiss on toasted wheat that is so big, it takes a knife to cut it into useful portions.
There are endless benefits to appreciating people:)
They may taste better, but they are significantly more expensive. It costs anywhere from $1-$2 more at Quizno's for a sub, chips and a drink than it costs at Subway. I don't eat Subway very often, but after a couple times checking out Quizno's after they moved into town, I couldn't justify spending the extra cash when they aren't that much better. Call me cheap ("You're cheap!"), but I have a tight budget and when I don't bring a lunch from home, I'm not going to pay Quizno's prices.
"Subway donates considerable money to liberal causes. If you want to help support the democrat party then eat at Subway, because a portion of every dollar you spend there goes in the democrats political pockets and almost none in anything conservative."
This is nice to know - I looked up Subway on www.buyblue.org and they consider it apolitical.
I think a lot of that varies from one location to another. There are two Subway locations in western Canada that make the best -- and biggest -- tuna subs I've ever had.
The commercial is about hemophilia. A hereditary bleeding disorder. The kid can not run and play because with hemophilia even a small cut or bruise can lead to them bleeding to death.
Bayer has a treatment (Kogenate FS) that they are promoting.
Nothing sexual about it.
But that's just us, people who are concerned about the healthiness of what we eat.
That may have been the second scene shot, but the first was definitely a youngster pondering whether to 'get into the game' with the basketball and I read the word as 'homophobia'. Perhaps I'm mistaken. That's what caught my attention to the ad. Additionally, Bayer has been associated with gay advertising campaigns and listed on GLBF websites as a sponsor to contact whenever a media figure makes a comment construed as being 'anti-gay'.
The Subway association with healthy diet isn't bad, IMHO, although perhaps a bit grossly overpresented. For a long time, fast food marketing has recognized its major hurdle to overcome has been its association with heart disease and poor diet.
The Bayer TV ad was more shocking to me.
Perhaps you're correct. If so my mistake. I took a doubletake when I saw it.
Exactly. When are all these nannies going to roll up their sleeves, open up a "healthy fast food" restaurant chain and show the rest of us slobs how it's done?
They didn't say anything, but they did type the word on the quickly shown screen. Perhaps you're correct, If so, my apologies and mistake.
Me too. I like Subway. I usually go with the turkey & ham. I prefer just lettuce on mine, but you can pile it high with veggies if you want.
Yes, it is fast food. But it is usually reasonably fresh, isn't microwaved like McD or BK, has less fat and I can watch it being made.
If you want a great sub, find a good deli. If you are on the road and don't want a grease burger, then Subway is usually pretty good. I also like Quizno's. I also like Pizza, and sometimes get a bacon cheeseburger 'cause sometimes it is good to have the grease running down your arms as you eat a sandwich.
But Subway is alright.
Here in New England, I have no idea how Subways even survive the marketplace. There's a mom-and-pop sub shop on virtually every street corner and their subs blow away anything Subway is making. One of my favorite subs is pepper and egg with mushrooms. Can't get that one at Subway.
Can't be done. Healthy food is more expensive and more difficult to portion, transport and store.
Have you seen the commercial or have you been able to find a link to a copy?
As far as Subway goes, the only recommendation I can make is to try the cold-cut combo...with double meat.
Everything else pretty much sucks, but I suspect that you dramatically decrease your chances of dropping dead on the spot by eating that as compared to, say, a double Quarter-Pounder with cheese.