Subway looks to tap into new trends
Subway is partnering with digital entertainment network Tastemade to update the company’s menu offerings.
The Milford-based restaurant chain announced Tuesday that it is teaming up with the food and travel network to look closely at consumer trends with a goal of sprucing up its menu offerings.
With the partnership, Subway is expected to tap into Tastemade’s network of chefs and other food experts around the world and incorporate culinary trends into the its ongoing food development process.
“We’ve been working to identify ways that we can leverage their insight for years, and we arrived at this partnership,” said Len Van Popering, Subway’s vice president of global brand management and innovation. “Tastemade has the resources to understand what food topics are really trending and are important to our guests in countries all over the world based on their online capabilities.”
Tastemade has developed its brand around producing videos on food trends, cooking techniques and new flavors worldwide, reaching over 200 countries and drawing billions of views since the network was founded in 2012.
The platforms has become a hit among millennials, expanding its reach as an influencer among foodies with its original and user-submitted content.
“Every day, we use data and insights to create compelling content for our viewers across all digital platforms around the world. We are thrilled to be able to tap into years of consumer trends and insights in a new way, to help fuel real innovation for Subway,” said Oren Katzeff, global head of programming at Tastemade, in a press release.
Subway stands to improve the menus of thousands of franchises to reflect trends and interests of its customers, an area that Van Popering said the restaurant chain expects will set them apart from the competition.
Though the network has partnered with other restaurants to produce videos, this will be the first time the network has partnered with a restaurant brand during its food development process.
Tastemade experts will collaborate with Subway’s culinary teams internationally to bring new new food ideas to the menus based on consumer preferences. As a result, changes to menu items could be on the horizon for the sandwich brand.
“Certainly there will be many favorites that will be remaining and not going away, but by the same token our guests have told us loud and clear that they love to experiment and try new food options, and this partnership will allow us to do that,” Van Popering said.
This partnership plays a role in the global chain’s recent brand transformation efforts.
Subways recently introduced a loyalty program and Fresh Forward restaurant design in certain locations globally. Both are expected to rekindle consumer interest in the chain, which has struggled in recent years with declining store numbers.
Considering Subway’s recent efforts to revamp its brand and come out with a refreshed look and feel, marketing experts see the move as a positive step.
Other companies that have partnered with Tastemade have seemingly enjoyed some success in boosting their brand, according to Profesor Joshua Shuart, chair of the marketing department at Sacred Heart University.
“(In) a Nielsen-conducted study, it was found that purchase intention skyrocketed 30 percent via the type of brand integration that Tastemade is offering,” Shuart said. “This is precisely the benefit that Subway is hoping to realize. … Given Tastemade’s quick ascension and track record of success, Subway would be wise to simply trust their partner in this new venture.”