Subway wants you to 'adopt' an ugly veggie to help Feeding America

Nick Lachey fronts campaign addressing food wastage

Published On
Sep 19, 2019

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Subway is encouraging people to "adopt" an ugly veggie in a campaign designed to address food waste.

The campaign, a tie-up with the hunger relief organization Feeding America, centers on a website, Ugly Veggie Rescue, where people can choose from vegetables such as Claude, the "carrot from Coachella CA who is fun, flirty and looking for love in all the wrong salads" or Lenny the lettuce, who lost out at the farmers' market because "people took one look at his big, goofy smile and kept on walking."

To promote it, TV personality Nick Lachey fronts a video directing people to the site and explaining that by donating as little as a dollar, you will make a donation to a Feeding America food bank. Subway will match each donation made until Oct. 18.

The campaign was developed by brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide in partnership with PR firm Ruder Finn. In highlighting the food wasted when people only pick perfect vegetables, it reminds us of French supermarket chain Intermarche's "Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables" work from 2014, which won awards including at D&AD, the Andys and Cannes. 

The adoption element is a potentially fun new angle on the issue. We're amused that the website goes so far as to include a disclaimer that informs people they won't actually "physically adopt" the veggie. It adds: "But you can absolutely call an adopted veggie your child and place a framed photo in your foyer."