Subway Joins Growing Number of Health-Conscious Chains to Remove Artificial Additives


Nervous about the effect this change will have on your BMT? Subway says their signature flavors will not be altered.

More than a year after Subway promised to remove the bread leavening substance azodicarbonamide, a chemical commonly used in rubber products, from its recipes, the sandwich chain is taking this initial promise to clean up its nutrition labels even further. Subway has announced that over the next 18 months, it will be phasing out artificial colors, additives, and preservatives from all menu items (sandwiches, salads, soups, and cookies). Subway is the latest restaurant chain to commit to a healthier and more transparent approach to food: Panera made the same announcement in May, and soon thereafter Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) promised to remove artificial ingredients as well.

Subway will kick off its commitment to natural ingredients with a brand-new roast beef recipe with garlic and pepper. By comparison, the sandwich company’s current roast beef recipe contains water, salt, dextrose, corn syrup, sodium phosphates, garlic powder, onion powder, potato maltodextrin, and sugar.


“Removing some of these ingredients will be relatively straightforward, while others will require significantly more effort by the Subway research and development team because of our size and scope,” Elizabeth Stewart, director of corporate social responsibility for Subway. “We felt it was important to set an ambitious goal as a means to give us something to shoot for and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to wellness.”