Last month, with much fanfare in the nutrition community, Subway announced its “Pile on the Veggies” campaign in collaboration with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to end childhood obesity. What a great way to get kids to eat more healthful meals at over 40,000 Subway locations!
Then came the chain’s Super Bowl commercial, which reminded us the true nature of the fast food beast. Subway revealed it latest creation – the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. We’re almost certain that Fritos corn chips do not count as “veggies” for the purpose of “Pile on”.
Then again, why be surprised? Fast food companies know all too well how to play the PR game all too well. There is message #1 to the health industry, and message #2 to consumers and Wall Street. Message #1 is about feel-good tiny steps to make it seem like food is getting healthier, while message #2 usually shows an improved bottom line through new products that tend to be very unhealthy.
This new Subway product has over half a day’s worth of sodium, and 35% of a day’s max of saturated fat. We’d love to tell you about some of the nasty ingredients in this product, but Subway does not provide that information on its website.
Is it too much to expect a fast food chain to actually promote something healthy in a major sporting event TV commercial?