Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Iceberg ahead for traditional carbs

Spotted this week (sorry for the poor picture quality), Subway is promoting its salads with an advertising campaign using the tagline “Iceberg ahead” (referencing the iceberg lettuce which is featured in some of the products).

Whether eating at home or on-the-go, people want variety; people want fresh and healthy and they want convenient vegetables.

As part of their everyday weight wellness choices some consumers are giving up on bread. Many more are still eating bread, but they are choosing to eat it less often.

In the UK, for example (where this Subway advertising was spotted) supermarket sales of bread are falling a steady 4% a year in volume, 6% in value. Big brands are experiencing bigger falls.

Eating fewer carbs is an established reality for more and more people. They are not necessarily eating Paleo or “going keto”, but they are selectively limiting their consumption of some starches. Eating vegetables instead – at least occasionally – is an easy way to do so.

If you’re the world’s biggest and best-known on-the-go sandwich chain and you want to keep people coming through the door you have to widen your offering to meet their wish for freshness, variety and a choice of fewer or no carbs or accept the erosion of your business.

The weight wellness decision-making that’s causing some people to reduce their carb intake also makes them look for protein. So it’s not surprising that Subway’s salads deliver 13g-15g of protein per serve.

More protein and fewer – but better and more plant-based carbs – are two sides of the same coin. It is a behaviour that is established enough in people’s minds that a mass-market foodservice chain sees the value in meeting this market. It’s not a fad, it’s a trend. And it’s one that’s been 15 years in the making. Ignore it at your peril.

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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