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Subway to Go All-Natural By 2017

Subway to Go All-Natural By 2017

MILFORD, CT - Hot on the heels of Chipotle and Taco Bell, Subway is the latest restaurant chain to revamp its menu with all-natural ingredients.

Over the next 18 months, Subway will remove artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives from its menu, including sandwiches, salads, soups, sauces, and cookies, according to Bloomberg Business.

Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer, Subway (Image Credit: Adweek)The changes come at a time when more restaurant chains are opting for more natural alternatives to meet consumer desires to understand what they are eating. Tony Pace, Subway’s Chief Marketing Officer, noted these changing customer attitudes in an interview with the New York Post.

“As their expectations go up, we have to meet those expectations,” he said.

According to the Post, Pace went on to say that using simple ingredients is becoming a “necessary condition” to satisfy customers, but it won’t be enough on its own to drive up sales.

Last year, Subway sales for stores in the U.S. averaged $475,000 each, a 3 percent decline from the previous year, according to industry tracker Technomic.

Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President, TechnomicTechnomic analyst and Executive Vice President Darren Tristano told the Post that while older generations looked at nutritional stats such as fat and calories, younger generations are more concerned with qualities like “local,” “organic,” and “natural.”

“Change has come so fast and rapidly, consumers are just expecting more and more,” Tristano told the Post.

Reinforcing Pace’s statements, Elizabeth Stewart, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Subway, said, “We are committed to choice and quality, but we also take wellness and environmental responsibility very seriously. The new menu items we are introducing are perfect examples of how we plan to continuously improve to serve our customers.”

For example, Stewart said that the chain has most recently removed caramel color from cold cuts such as roast beef and ham, and will also be switching to banana peppers colored with turmeric instead of the artificial dye Yellow No. 5, the Post reports.

With the recent spur of restaurant chains going all-natural, I have to wonder… Who’s next?