With all the plant-based product launches at fast food chains—from burgers to tacos to pizza toppings—sometimes even a significant announcement can slip under the radar. In September, Subway began testing a Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub, featuring plant-based balls courtesy of Beyond Meat, at hundreds of locations in North America. But faced with meat-free fatigue (and with Subway struggling a bit in general), this launched wasn't met with as much ballyhoo as other Beyond Meat launches. However, now that the plant-based sandwich is going nationwide across Canada, Subway is making sure this expansion gets all the attention it deserves by breaking out the big guns… Martha Stewart.
To promote the rollout of the Beyond Meatball sub across Canada, Subway has partnered with Martha Stewart for a ridiculous 30-second TV spot. "Martha is the perfect partner to announce the nationwide launch of the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub in Canada," Subway Canada Senior Marketing Director Cristina Wells said in the announcement. "Martha's green thumb and culinary prowess made her a natural fit to speak to the unbelievable cultivation and care that goes into creating the Beyond Meatball."
Specifically, the tongue-in-cheek conceit of Martha's new commercials is that these plant-based balls have to be "grown." "Gently plant one in a bed of marinara," Stewart quips in the commercial, "and eight weeks later, you have this," she continues, showing off a meatball bush.
"Subway had me at 'an exciting new plant-based protein choice,' because that's perfect for my lifestyle," Stewart said, explaining why she teamed up with the sandwich chain. "The new Beyond Meatball subs really are delicious—and you could say I'm an expert when it comes to good taste."
As for the sandwiches themselves, Subway describes them as Beyond Meatballs complimented with "irresistible marinara sauce, sprinkled with grated parmesan, [and] topped with shredded mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese" before the whole thing is "perfectly toasted to form the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub." It's now available at thousands of participating Subway locations across Canada.
Notably, both American and Canadian restaurants were included in Subway's original September test launch of the Beyond Meatball subs. So even though Canada was first to get a nationwide launch, an American nationwide rollout would seem likely as well. Unfortunately, a Subway spokesperson wasn't able to provide me with any specific details regarding a larger American expansion of the sandwich, only stating, "The culinary partnership between Subway and Beyond Meat adds more flavor and variety to our popular vegetarian and vegan options. We continue planning, creating and innovating, so stay tuned!" However, If it does happen, let's just hope we get Martha, too!