Is This How Subway “Piles on the Veggies”??

Fritos Chicken Enchilda Melt by Subway

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?


  • DrakeScott

    “Is it too much to expect a fast food chain to actually promote something healthy in a major sporting event TV commercial?”

    Well, yeah. Like any advertiser paying a small fortune for a 30-second spot, Subway knows full well that the Superbowl audience is likely more “buffalo wings and nachos” than “hummus and crudité,” so the ad seems like good business, not sinister. After all, if people make healthier choices and don’t order it, it will disappear anyway.

    I have grown weary of the food police mentality that seems bent on limiting others’ freedom to make the “wrong” choices. And, in the end, since you already declared it “nasty,” sight unseen, it doesn’t really matter what the ingredient list says.

    While I wouldn’t order this particular sandwich, I have no issue with it being an option for those who might want to. It isn’t being offered at the expense of the healthier menu offerings (including a decent selection of veggies, at no extra charge, for those wishing to “pile on).

    • Fooducate

      1. If Subway wants to promote crap, then it shouldn’t pretend to be a health purveyor. That’s cheating.

      2. Advertising works. If Subway promotes unhealthy foods, that’s what people will order. It doesn’t have to be exclusively broccoli, but don’t tell us the genius marketers couldn’t find a way to promote the veggie pile theme.

      3. The food police theme is lame. Whenever someone gets a heart attack or diabetes because they ate crap for years, we all pay for it. That’s why healthcare is close to 20% of the GDP. Someone else’s “free choice” ends up costing everyone…

      • Jeremy
      • vroomvsr

        I go to subway sometimes and they have plenty of healthy food choices that are very appetizing. Just because they advertise un-healthy food doesn’t mean they have plenty of good food choices.

      • pupsncats

        1. The “whenever someone gets a heart attack or diabetes because they ate crap for years, we all pay for it, theme is lame. Health issues aren’t strictly due to one’s diet but are also a factor in one’s gene and environment.
        2. If a company promotes unhealthy foods, people might eat them but that is what “freedom” is called.
        3. If Subway is cheating, then so are governments who pretend they care about our health when in reality, what they care about is power and control over what we do.

    • Dani

      Well it’s not actually “sight unseen” as the picture is above

    • Utopia

      This ‘new’ sandwich will get people in the door- bottom line. How many time have you been trying to figure out where to stop for a meal and someone says “Let’s go try out that new sandwich, pasta etc.”? Is this a right movie on behalf of Subway- eh, I never really saw Subway as the true face of healthy food. Lunch meat, hardly washed veggies, olives, mustard, salt, and bread with additives and sugar is only so good for you. I think we need to be realistic. If you don’t want to feed yourself this crappy sandwich that will probably keep you full for an hour, then great. Be proud you are not one of the customers falling into this advertising trap.

  • Carol H

    Yes… it would be nice to see the ingredients list, because the nutrition info shows decent amounts of vitamins A and C and fiber, which indicate (if the data are correct) the presence of veggies. However, it’s probably just cooked tomato, judging by the photo, in which case it’s likely the C content is lower than stated.

  • Ryan

    You don’t need an ingredient list to know that Fritos are terrible for you! Put them on a salad of organic greens, and you are still doing yourself a huge disservice health wise! On top of that, you add the refined GMO wheat flour in the flatbread, bagged vegetables from who knows where, and whatever nastiness is in the “sauce” that is on this thing, and you have yourself an extremely unhealthy option…as most options at Subway are.

    On one hand, no fast food chain should ever try to sell themselves as purveyors of health. It is irresponsible and misleading. On the other hand, anyone who thinks they are going to reach optimal health by eating it, is kidding themselves. The responsibility lies with the consumers. Unfortunately, they continue to speak loud and clear by buying this junk food!

  • Healthy Man

    We have to saturate the Media and educate everyone about the dangers of eating unhealthy foods. Maybe someday most people will get it!!!

  • AddisonB

    I am disgusted by your usage of “Wall Street.” You sound like another wall street basher who has not a clue as to what you are talking about. Clearly you did not do your research on Subway. DAI (the company that owns Subway) is a privately held company and is not traded on any stock exchange. Each franchise is individually owned and operated. SO how exactly is Wall Street involved here? Please do your research before spouting off terminology which you know nothing about!

    • Fooducate

      The term “Wall Street” includes all financiers who place huge pressure on companies to continue growing in order to increase shareholder value. Private equity groups are no better than public markets in this respect.

      • pupsncats

        So all companies should expect not to grow because it is a sin to expect those who have invested in the company to expect to see a return on their investment?
        You are a foolish supporter of anti-business. After all, businesses are what create jobs necessary for people to exist. That some businesses are run or owned by corrupt or greedy people can’t change that fact.

  • roxanne

    What is your point?
    The only way to eat healthy is to buy your own organic ingredients and prepare them in your own home. : ) That is labor intensive but it comes the closest to knowing what’s in your food!

    • pupsncats

      Someone who writes the truth! Even with all of the regulations and testing done by the FDA, our food supply is tainted. As you state, the only way you know what you are eating is to grow it yourself.

  • Too Too

    Right On!
    Subway should just b honest & tell exactly what’s n the new sub; we all may b imagining it worse than it is.?!… Subway is, for the most part, a pretty healthy place to eat but- this new sub is definitely NO indication of that! You have to b a smart shopper, that’s for sure.!

  • Elena

    I’m pretty sure it’s okay for subway to offer healthy & unhealthy options. It’s up to the consumer to decide whether they want a healthy or unhealthy sandwich! I, for one, don’t ALWAYS want the healthiest choice. But at least the choice is there. Not to mention, not everyone in the world wants to eat “healthy.” That is their right. And it’s okay. Not ideal… But okay.

  • Chris L. Johnson

    Um…is it too much to expect the consumer from taking responsibility for their own choices and actions in what they eat? Why can’t it be enough that these food chains are offering healthy options to begin with?

  • Lizzie

    I have always thought that subway wad a very healthy and quick alternative to fast food places but now knowing that 1.Their “healthy” choices are phony and 2. Their bread has the same chemicals that are in my shoes and yoga mat. My opinion on Subway Has definantly changed

  • Logicandegg

    Ugh, that sandwich sounds so gross to me. That’s all I can say.

  • BC

    Pile On The Veggies? Bullshit! Every time I go and ask them for veggies (or a lot of a particular veggie i.e. spinach or lettuce), they are very scant about it. They overload the sandwich with dressings though.

    • pupsncats

      So why go there?

  • pupsncats

    Governments can ban foods or try to coerce people into eating only those things which the bureaucrats and now Michelle Obama want us to eat but the reality is that in a free society, people have the right to choose what they want to eat.
    Once the food police are thoroughly entrenched in every community, what will the next government ban/coercion be? What television programs to watch? What Internet websites to visit? What books to read? What kind of lightbulbs we may use? (Oh right, that one was already done.)
    It only takes a little common sense and will power to understand eating an excess of anything can’t be healthy. We don’t need government tyrants and their wives to control our lives as they want to do.

  • jason

    Don’t all of subways sandwiches contain tons of sodium? “Over half a days sodium” is relatively low looking at the other items on the menu. Cmon.