Subway Continues Brand Refresh with Unique New Bread

Subway is getting back to the diet business, becoming the first quick-serve restaurant to offer a 1-net-carb bread.

The sandwich chain, which has nearly 40,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries operated by franchisees, always has positioned its offerings as healthier than what can be found at the fast-food giants, and during the summer started to revamp its menu in a multiyear bid to upgrade and attract a new generation of consumers.

The new, low-carb Hero Bread sandwich first will be offered in select markets – Savannah, Georgia; Des Moines, Iowa; Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Boise, Idaho – as part of the Eat Fresh Refresh program. Customers will be able to visit the Hero website beginning Nov. 5 to nominate the next test market.


“The addition of Hero Bread to our menu is not only the next evolution … but also helps more people enjoy their favorite sandwich at Subway,” chief marketing officer Carrie Walsh said.

Subway’s announcement comes as consumers are looking for low-carb products, and companies are responding with everything from hamburger buns to bagels, The Food Institute previously reported.

Subway has faltered in recent amid controversies about whether its tuna actually contains any tuna, to its spokesman pleading guilty to child pornography charges. Experts told The Food Institute recently that the company needed a game plan that includes getting back to basics and improving ingredients.


The low-carb bread was developed by Hero Labs, a San Francisco food tech startup that has raised more than $30 million from the likes of Beyond Meat, seven-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady and a string of venture capitalists.

“I’m not the biggest bread guy, but there’s a new bread even I can eat,” Brady, who eschews foods made with white flour, said on Instagram. “Now I’m pumped to get back to bread, all because of Hero. Truly unbelievable!”

Hero was founded by CEO Cole Glass, who suffers from severe food allergies. He had little choice but to develop a bread he could eat.

“By offering a bread that promises the same great taste as traditional bread without the negative health consequences, we’re solving a larger problem and providing consumers with a golden ticket to eat the foods they love without sacrifice,” Glass said.

A slice of white bread typically contains about 75 calories, 0.8 gram of fiber, 1 gram of fat and 2.7 grams of protein. In contrast, Hero said its bread, without specifying the serving size, has no sugar, one net carb, 100 calories, 12 grams of protein and 26 grams of fiber.