Subway Adds Meatless Chicken Schnitzel to Menu: Where to Get It

|Updated Dec 8, 2021
Instagram / @subway.singapore

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.

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

1. Burger King

Turns out there’s a lot more to rely on than a salad if you’re eating plant-based. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper featuring a meatless patty as well as a few secretly vegan options such as the French Toast Sticks and Hashbrowns.

2. White Castle

Known for its mini square-shaped sliders, this hamburger chain jumped on the plant-based bandwagon at some participating locations. You can find an Impossible Slider on some White Castle menus.

3. Del Taco

This was the first national Mexican fast-food chain to offer Beyond Meat at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. Del Taco has the Beyond Avocado Taco on the menu along with the Epic Beyond Original Mex Burrito and Avocado Veggie Bowl.

4. Carl's Jr.

Another brand synonymous with beef burgers, Carl’s Jr. offers several plant-based options for veggie and plant lover such as Beyond Famous Star Burger and Guacamole Thickburger.

5. Taco Bell

This fast-food restaurant may have been one of the first you frequented while transitioning to plant-based eating. That’s because Taco Bell has eight million vegetarian combinations and sells 350 million vegetarian items a year through menu substitutions or ordering off their vegetarian menu. In fact, they were the first quick-service restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.

6. Starbucks

From the time it started offering breakfast sandwiches in 2006, the coffee conglomerate became a competitor in the fast-food space. You can get your favorite hot and cold beverages made with almond, coconut or oat milk but there are also plant-based food options available such as the Baja Black Bean Veggie Wrap, bagel with vegan cream cheese and Impossible Breakfast Sandwich.