Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One difference between Quiznos and Subway

Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press earlier this month described the super-fast growth of Quiznos sandwich shops and explained the similarities and differences between the restaurant chain and the leader in its market, Subway:

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 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?

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!


Anonymous said...

I was like you, checked the Quiznos site for nutrition information and asking them but no response. Finally I found out about www.CalorieKing.com, which has nutrition information about just about anything. I was really surprised, a regular classic italian is listed as 990 calories, and thats not even the largest sub. I believe if people hear about Quiznos unhealthy subs their business will drop, thus no nutrition info on their site.

Ian said...

Why do you care about how many calories the subs have? For regular healthy people who don't need to drop weight, Quizno's is amazing because they actually give you a good quality sub with a lot of meat on it. People should buy food to be able to feel full, unlike the false sense of fullness you get after ordering a large sub at Subway only to find that there is hardly any meat on it at all. They even fold the meat to make it look as though you are getting at least a little of what you payed for. Even Subway's taste can not compare to Quizno's. Quizno's has warm, toasty subs made with delicious, juicy meat. Subway has cold, hard slices of bread with a head of shredded lettuce and a sliver of meat inbetween them. So, for those of you who need to drop weight go to Subway, or better yet just go to the gym and excercise for once! For everyone else, Quizno's is by far the best choice there is when it comes to subs.

Anonymous said...

Ian, people might care for many different reasons. That's not the point. As a customer, you should have the right to make informed choices about what you eat, including what's in the food you're being served. Taste is important, true, but there are consumers who'd also rather not unknowingly put artery-clogging trash in their bodies because the company didn't want to look bad.

Anonymous said...

new post for 2008! If people are so interested in the foods that they put in their bodies and are looking to calorie count, the last place they need to be is in a fast food restaurant. well any restaurant for that matter. nutritional information is best kept by the person keeping count. for those actually not counting calories, theyll go off of taste. so with that, ill have to say that quiznos is far better than subway is, based on taste alone.

Anonymous said...

I agree that people have a right to reasonably easy-to-obtain nutritional info: if not posted or in a pamphlet, at least on the Web site.

However, I agree that Quizno's subs are much, much better than Subway's, and not just because they use "naughtier" ingredients - the bread is fresher and the "toastiness" is great.

I think Subway is actually doing healthy eating a disservice by reinforcing the idea that healthy food tastes like crap.

Anonymous said...

Ian's a moron...I coached elite level national athletes (some medaling at Nationals). They need to know nutritional information to see if they are getting the macronutrients they need. Going to tell me that the guys who train 20-26 hours a week need to hit the gym?