Subway partners with Tastemade on food innovation initiative

Dive Brief:

  • The collaboration aims to support food innovation and build cultural connections with consumers, according to the release. Subway is tapping into Tastemade’s creator network of food lovers, called “tastemakers,” to reach consumers worldwide and use insights to create menus that are more modern and relevant to local communities. 
  • Subway and Tastemade will work together on curated innovation events, insights on food and flavor trends and food development. The partnership’s initial focus will be on North America and Latin America. 

Dive Insight:

Joining forces with Tastemade is part of Subway’s broader efforts to be more innovative, a push that previously focused on updating its restaurants with more modern technology and now appears to also encompass modernizing its menu. While millennials eat at restaurants more than other age groups, they also like trying new foods, putting pressure on older chains, like Subway, to embrace new offerings. The focus on localizing its menu could also help the brand’s franchisees better engage with their communities. 

Subway is hoping to leverage Tastemade’s global network of tastemakers and extensive data around how people engage with and are influenced by food to help drive innovation. The restaurant chain is also likely hoping to grow its following by engaging with Tastemade’s large millennial audience, which delivers more than 2.5 billion monthly video views on the platform, according to the news release. 

Last year, Subway launched “Fresh Forward,” an initiative to redesign its restaurants and customer experience. The redesign included adding self-ordering kiosks, mobile payment options, a new mobile app, a Facebook Messenger bot to take orders and a specific area for pre-order pickup.

Tastemade continues to branch out as well. Earlier this summer, the company announced plans to launch a TV network that would integrate shopping to generate more revenue through commercials, sponsorships and branded content. The linear TV channel will feature six original shows by the end of 2018 and other original programming, according to Digiday.

The partnership with Subway follows Tastemade’s announcement in May that it would team up with Disney Digital to create a new channel called Disney Eats that targets millennial parents with original content and combines existing Tastemade shows with Disney characters. The partnership also includes selling cooking products linked to the channel.

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