Subway Adds Meatless Chicken Schnitzel to Menu: Where to Get It
For sandwich lovers worldwide, Subway is a must-stop fast-food location, but the international foodservice company has been slow to adopt plant-based options onto its menu. Following years of pressure, Subway just revealed a Plant-Based Chicken Schnitzel at its locations across Singapore. The multinational chain announced that the new meatless protein will be available at select locations from now until January 18, 2022.
The trial plant-forward chicken is made in partnership with Nestle’s Harvest Gourmet signature soy-based meat. The vegan alternative is breaded and cut to resemble a classic German schnitzel, providing consumers with a traditional sandwich with plant-forward ingredients. Even though the company is advertising the new sandwich as meatless, the chicken contains animal-derived egg white. Customers should take note that the new sandwich will only be vegetarian and not fully vegan.
Subway runs nearly 50 storefronts located in Singapore. The trial run will span the entirety of December and most of January before potentially expanding to other international markets. The meatless chicken schnitzel is Subway Singapore’s first meatless chicken, but the locations also feature familiar menu items like the Veggie Delite vegan sandwich and the Veggie Patty sandwich that also contains egg. The new meatless chicken schnitzel sandwich will be priced at S$7.50 for a six-inch and s$12.50 for a footlong.
Subway’s Plant-Based Chicken Schnitzel is not the first time that the chain has experimented with plant-based chicken. The UK branch of the company launched a T.L.C.([Tastes Like Chicken) sandwich last year, announcing that it developed the new plant-based chicken over 10 years, providing consumers with a tasty plant-based chicken option topped with vegan cheese.
Within the United States, the pressure for fast food companies to develop plant-based chicken is rapidly rising. Plant-based chicken sales are growing at an unprecedented 18 percent per year, according to SPINS data. The rapid rise in popularity has pushed food giants such as Subway and Burger King to begin introducing plant-based chicken products. Consumers have started looking for meatless and plant-based options across all food categories with chicken growing at the quickest rate.
“There's definitely a perception gap where the products are actually outperforming consumer expectations in a lot of ways,” the Good Food Institute's Emma Ignaszewski said to Food Dive. "Having those high-fidelity products that match the taste, texture, and appearance of animal-based meat, companies are really making advances in that mimicry. And plant-based chicken products that do compete with animal-based products on taste and texture will continue to drive the category growth."
Consumers have put pressure on fast-food chains to begin adopting plant-based alternatives as issues concerning ethics, sustainability, and health enter the forefront of the food industry. A recent life cycle assessment conducted by GFI concluded that overall alternative proteins, including plant-based chicken, produce 86 percent less greenhouse gas, waste 96 percent less water, and use 97 percent less land when compared to conventional animal-based chicken production.
Subway’s decision to develop a plant-based chicken follows years of consumer pressure coinciding with the rising demand for vegan options. Recently, plant-based seafood company Good Catch campaigned against Subway after reports claimed that Subway’s tuna contained no actual real tuna DNA. The company parked vans outside of locations in New York City, Austin, and London to encourage Subway to promise to develop more plant-based options.
“Our mission is to make plant-based seafood that’s good for the sea and all life who call it home. Large commercial fishing is one of the most destructive activities in our oceans,” Co-founder and Chief Culinary Officer Good Catch Chad Sarno said. “We can do better. We’re here to offer great tasting seafood alternatives without bycatch, mercury, or environmental damage.”
Subway responded to the campaign with a cease and desist letter. The chain also announced in the letter that it aims to add “more plant-based options to its menus to meet growing consumer demand for meat-free alternatives.” While consumers wait for more plant-based options to reach the US, The Beet compiled a guide to ordering vegan at Subway right now. Check it out while Subway develops new plant-based and meatless options for locations worldwide.