The idea is that the larger brand, Subway, uses its advertisements to sell the public on the idea of healthy sandwiches. And indeed, you can read everything you want to know about the Subway products on the company's website. The small brand, Quiznos, is riding Subway's coattails. But is Quiznos as healthy as Subway? Who knows?
Quiznos, too, benefits from the competition. Subway preaches the health benefits of sandwiches over hamburgers with an annual advertising budget that exceeds $100 million.
"The sandwich-segment boom is based on health-conscious people perceiving sandwiches as better for them than burgers or fried chicken," said Dominick Voso, executive vice president of development for Quiznos.
For years, Subway has delivered that message through Jared Fogle, the company icon who lost 250 pounds eating its sandwiches. Quiznos, meanwhile, has struggled to establish brand identity. Early advertisements bordered on the bizarre: singing rodent-like characters, a man suckling on a wolf's teat and people getting shot with tranquilizer darts.
The federal government's message to consumers -- through generic commodity advertising -- endorses Quiznos and its Steakhouse Beef Dip sub. But I suspect the nutrition profile of this sub would not keep Jared as thin as his Subway sandwiches do. The Quiznos web page keeps consumers in the dark about the nutritional quality of all but a few of its products, and the company has been unresponsive to my inquiry in the past.
I believe my campaign to find out the truth about the Quiznos sandwich deserves broad support, from food activists and mainstream market economists alike. The whole point of a free market is that consumers should be able to make informed choices without government intervention. The public right to know in this case seems even stronger, because the federal government is encouraging us to eat more of these Steakhouse Beef Dip Subs.
On the Quiznos nutrition web page, there is a link that you may use to send a message to the company asking for more nutrition information. Please write them to ask for the profile of the USDA-sponsored 10-inch Steakhouse Beef Dip Sub (with sauce), and help us out by posting the responses you receive in the comment section below. My comrade bloggers, please spread this message. Thanks!