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Subway hits 25 years in the UK and Ireland

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Subway marks 25 years in UK with new research into customer eating habits: reveals consumers spend two hours a day thinking about lunch

Founded by 17 year old Fred DeLuca from Bridgeport Connecticut, and financed by Dr. Peter Buck, it was first called “Pete’s Super Submarines” but was renamed “Subway” two years later.

Subway now serves 96 million Subs per year, that’s 184 Subs every minute, in the UK and Ireland.

The Italian B.M.T.® Sub is the most popular in the UK, selling on average 37,335 per day, with the Meatball Marinara the most talked about sandwich globally on social media.

If you were to lay all Meatball Marinara Subs sold by Subway® in 2020 end to end, you would reach between Bridgeport, Connecticut and London with a few hundred yards left over.

To this day, Subway stores continue to be found in unexpected places. In Germany, there is one on a boat that sails on the Rhine River, while in Cleveland, USA, there is a store within a church.

As the world’s largest quick service restaurant chain, Subway serves freshly made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls to millions of guests, across more than 100 countries in nearly 40,000 restaurants every day. Every restaurant is owned and operated by Subway franchisees – a network of more than 20,000 dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners – who are committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities.

New research

To celebrate the milestone birthday of Subway marking 25 years in UK, the chain polled 1,500 sandwich lovers and revealed they spend two hours a day thinking, talking and texting about what to eat and when to eat it.

On top of that an additional six phone calls are had which are purely dedicated to ‘what do you fancy to eat?’ conversations.

Lunch emerged as the meal consumers think about most, with 68% admitting they are already planning what to eat that day, the moment they wake up.

And a whopping 70% of those polled by Subway said they regularly get ‘hangry’ during the day, which can result in them losing concentration and getting irritable at work.

Seven in ten (70%) adults said that talking about food to their friends and family is one of their favourite things to do.

Mays Elansari, head of marketing UK & Ireland at Subway commented “Our new research shows that we’re clearly a nation of dedicated lunch lovers. As the UK’s largest sandwich shop, Subway’s iconic Footlongs have proven to be a firm lunchtime favourite over the last 25 years. Our fully customisable Footlongs, Wraps and Salads are the go-to lunchtime meal for hungry Brits.”

The Chain’s Best-Selling footlong Subs*

  1. Italian B.M.T.® (9.2%)

  1. Steak & Cheese (8.5%)

  1. Tuna (8.1%)

  1. Chicken Tikka (6.7%)

  1. Ham (6.6%)

  1. Meatball Marinara (6.4%)

  1. Roasted Chicken Breast (5.6%)

  1. Chicken & Bacon (5.3%)

  1. Turkey Breast & Ham (3.6%)

  1. Chicken Teriyaki (3.0%)

UK guests can order in-store, use Mobile Order collection via the Subway® app or order via delivery services including Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Jon Horsley

*Sales data provided by Subway® UK, figures are calculated from January 2021 up until w/e 31st August 2021