Subway is introducing antibiotic free chicken sandwiches on its menu, without any price changes. Nutrition being the restaurant’s priority, the service wants to reward its customers with the new changes.
Representatives of the Milford, Connecticut-based sandwich chain announced at a press event that Subway will be introducing the new chicken to its 27,014 domestic restaurants. The new sandwich, which Subway showcased at a media event in Manhattan this week, will debut on March 1, reported Fortune. It would be its first antibiotic-free meat product.
The new rotisserie-style chicken is a slow-cooked chicken breast that will be hand-pulled in restaurants and available on any sandwich. It will available at a suggested price of $4.75 for a 6-inch sub and $7.75 for a Footlong, though individual franchises have the discretion to alter them. Subway will also make its current grilled chicken strips antibiotic free by April 1. For the moment, the changes will be implemented only in the U.S.
Chris Martone, executive chef for the Subway said the following.
“When we developed the new Rotisserie-Style Chicken recipe, we were inspired by its seasoned, slow-cooked flavor profile and a belief in better, quality ingredients. At first, there wasn’t a national supply available to meet our demands of our 27,000-plus U.S. restaurants, but our guests pushed us to continue the journey with our purchasing partners and suppliers and we are proud to deliver on our commitment to serve a premium product raised without antibiotics to them so quickly.”
Subway announced in October that it was planning to follow other fast-food restaurants like Chipotle and Panera in getting rid of antibiotics in October, and the current move reflects their intent, reported the Fox News.
The chain is also introducing two new items starting April 11, Carved Turkey & Bacon Sub, a more thickly sliced turkey breast and applewood smoked bacon. The goal is to move to antibiotic-free turkey within the next two or three years and beef and pork antibiotic-free by 2025, according to the timeline set by Subway in October.
Subway says it is starting with chicken for practical reasons as the life span of a chicken is shorter than other meat, making the process for transitioning the supply easier.
Additionally, the chain announced the introduction of Simply Lemonade and Simply Lays Thick Cut Potato Chips, both of which are made without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
In January 2015, Subway began selling chicken without artificial flavors or preservatives. The chain subsequently made commitments to remove artificial ingredients from its sandwiches, soups, and cookies by the end of 2016.
More changes are anticipated in the months to come. The representatives said that they are always trying to gauge the needs of their customers, though they did not comment on going organic or using cage-free products.
Subway Global Dietitian Lanette Kovachi, RDN noted the following.
“Subway was founded 50 years ago with a simple vision: to deliver delicious, fresh and affordable handcrafted sandwiches to our guests. That singular belief in better set the stage for a series of deliberate, important decisions grounded in nutritional transparency, fresh quality ingredients and unmatched customization. Our efforts to serve lean meats raised without antibiotics are a demonstration of that commitment. We will continue to work with our suppliers to increase the number of items on our menu that are raised without antibiotics.”
A year ago, McDonald’s said it would eliminate antibiotics, but is still working with suppliers to make the change. Chick-fil-A made a similar announcement in 2014. So far, its accomplished 23 percent of its goal to eliminate antibiotics and is on track for a full conversion by 2019.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Subway stood at 77 in August, a 1.3 percent decline from the previous year and a 6 percent fall from three years ago.
The Subway chain, with more than 44,000 locations worldwide, also recently relaunched its logo, changing the colors of the lettering from yellow and white to green. The move to go antibiotic free for it chicken subs would surely bring more customer satisfaction.
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