Food and Beverage India reported today, Thursday, July 18, that Subway restaurants are expanding their outlets across India. The new restaurants will not only be larger in terms of square footage, but the menu will be enhanced and expanded with an emphasis on international flavors and vegetarian items.
Subway India’s menu has always been more vegetarian-friendly than the American franchise, catering to a population that is 20-42% vegetarian. Though there are fewer reported vegetarians in the United States (about 13% of the population), the market for vegetarian replacement foods is well over a billion dollars.
In order to easily accommodate vegan diners as well as vegetarians, Subway restaurants in India bake their bread without dairy products, and use an egg-free mayonnaise. Subway India has gone even further to accommodate the varied types of diets in the country, unveiling sandwiches earlier this year that cater to the Jain population.
Jains eschew root vegetables in addition to meat, eggs, and dairy, fearing that insects or worms could be harmed in the uprooting. Subway’s Jain-friendly sandwiches do not include garlic, onions, honey, or any other ingredients incompatible with the Jain diet.
Typical vegetarians in India can already choose from several vegetarian Subway sandwiches, including the Aloo Patty, the Veg Shammi, and the Paneer Tikka. Also on offer are a regular Veggie Delight, the only vegetarian option at most American Subway restaurants, and a Veggie Patty, similar to a sub-sized Garden Burger.
Subway has tested vegan sandwiches in the U.S. to great acclaim (sandwiches sold out quickly), but has yet to introduce anything vegan on a permanent menu. The tested vegan subs came in three versions: The Malibu Greek, the Italian Black Bean, and the Sweet Riblet.
Chicagoland residents are currently enjoying the option of a Subway Falafel Sandwich, which has its own Facebook page.
Photographs of Subway’s vegetarian options in India and elsewhere are featured in the slideshow.