First Lady Michelle Obama 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, Subway 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,” says 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 the First Lady called on the private sector to leverage the power of marketing to promote healthier products and decrease the marketing of unhealthy products to kids.
Subway 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, Subway 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 employees to encourage kids to choose apples, and in-store merchandising and marketing will focus on these healthy options.
“Subway restaurant’s commitment today builds on the brand’s already strong track record of offering healthier choices to kids, for which it has been lauded by families and health advocates alike,” says PHA board chair James R. Gavin, III, MD, PhD. “The new and significant investment it is making today will not only help make fruits and vegetables fun for kids, it will also offer busy moms and dads easy, healthy choices for their families when they're on the go.”
“Ending childhood obesity is a cause that has been near and dear to Subway since we introduced the Fresh Fit for Kids Meals in 2007,” says Suzanne Greco, vice president of R&D and Operations for the Subway brand. “With this partnership with PHA, we will now reach millions of kids as part of a healthier eating education campaign, making it our largest outreach campaign to date. From a sign on each restaurant’s door that says “Playtime Powered by Veggies” to a video collaboration with Disney’s The Muppets, we will build upon our ongoing efforts to create even better choices for families. We hold ourselves to the highest standards in the industry when it comes to speaking to children and their families. Now we are letting everyone else know what that standard is.”