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SUBWAY Restaurants Answers First Lady Michelle Obama's Call to Market Healthier Choices to Kids


First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced that SUBWAY®restaurants joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a three-year commitment to promote healthier choices to kids, including launching its largest kid-targeted marketing effort to date.

As part of its commitment, the SUBWAY® restaurant chain will launch a series of new and fun campaigns aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children; set and implement new marketing standards to kids; and strengthen its already-nutritious children’s menu offerings.

“I’m excited about these initiatives not just as a First Lady, but also as a mom,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Subway's kids' menu makes life easier for parents, because they know that no matter what their kids order, it’s going to be a healthy choice.”

The commitment follows the first-ever White House convening on food marketing to children this fall, during which Mrs. Obama called on the private sector to leverage the power of marketing to promote healthier products and decrease the marketing of unhealthy products to kids. 

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The SUBWAY® restaurant chain is the first and only quick service chain to join PHA, which works with the private sector and Mrs. Obama – PHA’s honorary chair – to broker meaningful commitments to help end the childhood obesity epidemic.

As part of its commitment, the SUBWAY® restaurant chain will only offer items on its kids menu that meet strong nutritional guidelines informed by federal standards for the national school lunch program, including offering apples as a side and low-fat or non-fat milk or water as a default beverage. Additionally, the chain will deliver $41 million in media value in the next three years to market healthier options to children and families, with a specific focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. This is the brand’s largest kid-focused marketing campaign to date, and includes general marketing, in-store merchandising, television, social and digital media and public relations. Training materials will teach Sandwich Artists to encourage kids to choose apples, and in-store merchandising and marketing will focus on these healthy options. 

Specifically, during each of the next three years, the SUBWAY® brand will:

  • Offer on the SUBWAY® menu only kids’ meals that are Fresh Fit for Kids™ meals and meet the following profiles[1]:
    Nutrient Profile – less than or equal to 600 calories, including no artificial trans fat, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat and less than 935 mg of sodium, in line with federal children’s meal standards. Food Profile – all meals provide ½ cup fruit equivalent; and ¾ cup vegetable equivalent; low-fat or nonfat milk[2] (or dairy equivalent) or water[3] as the default beverage. In addition, the SUBWAY® brand will work with PHA to develop bread options that meet dietary guidance. Affordability Profile – the brand will recommend its franchisees price Fresh Fit for Kids™ meals less than or equal to all items sold individually.
  • Assist the selection of fruit with Fresh Fit for Kids™ meals by:
    Providing training for staff to prompt taking of apples from cooler Placing messaging on/in Fresh Fit for Kids™ meal bag that promotes fruit selection.
  • Implement policy with regard to marketing to children, such that any advertising on children’s programming or targeting children meets the profiles set above.
  • Deliver $41 million in media value over the next three years in marketing and advertising specifically targeted to children to encourage healthy eating, fruits and vegetables. This includes general marketing, in-store merchandising, television, social and digital media and all public relations.

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