Subway hops on meatless bandwagon: Marketer’s Brief
If a meatball doesn’t have meat, is it still a meatball?
These are the kinds of philosophical questions raised by the plant-based dining craze. Sandwich behemoth Subway is the latest brand jumping aboard. The chain on Wednesday announced a 685-store test of a “Beyond Meatball Marinara” sub, which is made with meat substitute product from Beyond Meat, which is doing a number of deals with restaurant chains eager to tap into the trend.
Bringing Beyond Meat to a small fraction of its restaurants — there are more than 27,000 Subway shops in Canada and the U.S. — lets Subway earn some cred in the plant-based craze, while presumably not putting as much pressure on its operators or on Beyond Meat’s supply chain. There’s still cheese on the sandwich, suggesting that while carnivorous diners are looking for alternatives, they’re not always looking to go entirely vegan. According to data from NPD Group shared by Subway, 77 percent of meat-eaters substitute a non-meat protein in a meal at least once a week. The Beyond Meatball Mariana sub is Subway’s latest collaboration with another brand. It recently announced milkshakes made with Halo Top ice cream and sandwiches made with King’s Hawaiian bread.
Bud Light is deepening its ties with Post Malone by putting his face on its cans. The brew–which has featured the musician as part of its Bud Light Dive Bar Tour and collaborated with him on a clothing line–will roll the cans out this fall in select cities that are a part of his fall tour.
Cannabis in a can?
Iced tea maker Arizona (or, as it likes to be known, AriZona) is partnering with cannabis consumer products company Dixie Brands Inc. to sell cannabis-infused products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the ingredient in cannabis that makes you high. Dixie Brands will develop, formulate, manufacture and distribute Arizona-branded, THC-infused consumer packaged goods, the companies said. No word yet on the products themselves or if they will be sold in giant, 99-cent cans.
So much for thinking you’re eating green when ordering from Sweetgreen, Chipotle, Dig and other chains that use compostable bowls. The New Food Economy reports samples of molded fiber bowls from those chains and some others all contained PFAS, a chemical substance that doesn’t break down and may be harmful to compost, landfills or wherever they end up. The Biodegradable Products Institute, which certifies some of these bowls, says starting in January it won’t certify products with more than 100 parts per million of total fluorine. Every bowl tested for the report showed levels 10 to 20 times above that proposed level. That means restaurants soon won’t be able to market their packaging as certified unless they find an alternative.
Would you buy this?
English Toffee Peanut will continue to be sold at U.S. stores for an 18-month period after winning the brand’s 2019 flavor vote, beating out Mexican Jalapeño Peanut and Thai Coconut Peanut. Also, fudge brownie-flavored M&M’s are coming soon.
Number of the week
105: Number of shops opened by CBD company Green Growth Brands in the past eight months
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
Lovehoney, a UK-based sexual wellness brand, tapped Sarah Warby as CEO. Warby, a veteran marketer with stints at Heineken’s and Sainsbury’s, was most recently non-executive director at Moneysupermarket Group.
Lemonade, the digital insurance company, is starting an in-house creative agency, led by Nuno Ferreira as head of creative marketing. He was most recently a creative director at 72andSunny.
Jano Cabrera, who was senior VP of corporate relations at McDonald’s before leaving earlier this year, is heading to General Mills Inc., where he’ll be chief communications officer beginning Aug. 16. Mary Lynn Carver left that role in July.
Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz