Subway Just Announced These Massive Menu Changes

First, Subway's bread had too much sugar to be considered bread. Then, its chicken was only 50% real chicken. And in the most recent lawsuit against America's largest sandwich chain, the company is accused of selling tuna subs that are "completely bereft of tuna as an ingredient," reports The New York Times. It sounds like the brand that loves to eat fresh is in need of some more, well, freshness. Now, with a new campaign, "Eat Fresh Refresh," the chain is trying to do exactly that with the largest menu update in Subway's history according to a press release.

On July 12, more than 10,000 Subway locations across the country will close at 6 p.m. to prepare for the next day's revamped menu launch, which the chain will celebrate by giving away 1 million free 6-inch Turkey Cali Fresh subs from 10 a.m. to noon on July 13. Customers will also find 20-plus menu updates, including "11 new and improved ingredients, six all-new or returning sandwiches, and four revamped signature sandwiches," the press release reads.

Subway's sales have fallen in recent years as consumers have found other choices in the fast-casual dining space, reports CNN. With this vast menu update, the chain hopes to appeal to customization-seeking customers with higher quality "core ingredients," such as BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella and avocado spread containing only Haas avocados and salt. "We want to make a loud enough bang ... to draw those people back to give us another look," Subway CEO John Chidsey told CNN.

Is Subway updating its tuna?

As the Subway tuna scandal continues, the sandwich chain continues to insist it uses real premium tuna in its subs. The "Eat Fresh Refresh" campaign doubles down on this claim — a press release maintains that Subway's "fan favorite" tuna "doesn't need an upgrade." While the current lawsuit against Subway has been amended to challenge the chain's assertion that it uses 100% skipjack and yellowfin tuna (rather than the original allegation that the mixture does not contain tuna or fish at all), a subsequent New York Times investigation failed to identify any type of tuna DNA in Subway's sandwiches. Then again, the Times acknowledged that it's hard to find DNA in tuna that's already been cooked.

The timing of the "refresh" makes it look as if Subway is scrambling to repair the damage to its reputation after the tuna lawsuit. But some of the menu changes, at least, have been in the works for years, according to the press release. Two new bread options, in particular, are the result of a two-year collaboration between Subway and world-class bakers. What they came up with will also be available on Subway menus starting July 13: Artisan Italian and Hearty Multigrain. 

Subway will upgrade its roast beef, chicken, and bacon options

The two new bread recipes that are part of Subway's "Eat Fresh Refresh" revamp are big news, but they're not the only changes coming to the menu. And while the tuna may be staying the same, other Subway proteins are getting a makeover. Turkey and ham will be sliced "deli-thin," according to Chew Boom. Bacon will be hickory smoked with no artificial flavors or colors, and the new, thick-cut steak will be seasoned, marinated, and glazed. The chain will also bring back rotisserie-style chicken, and Angus roast beef is hitting Subway menus this fall. 

As well, Subway customers will be able to order smashed avocado after the refresh. This new ingredient is simply Haas avocados and salt, according to an "Eat Fresh Refresh" fact sheet. Another topping, the new and improved mozzarella, is from BelGioioso, an award-winning cheesemaker from Wisconsin. Also new is the "MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette" — Subway claims you'll be able to taste the herbs, garlic, and Parmesan in this new sandwich topping. 

Subway's new ingredients are featured in new sandwiches

Finally, Subway is freshening up its sandwich offerings as part of this big menu change. Some of the new ingredients mentioned will be featured in two old favorites: the Rotisserie-Style Chicken sandwich and the Roast Beef sandwich, according to the "Eat Fresh Refresh" fact sheet

Subway is also launching a lineup of new subs: the Turkey Cali Fresh, the Steak Cali Fresh, the Subway Club, and the All-American Club. Both Cali Fresh sandwiches come with the new bacon, the smashed avocado, and the BelGioioso mozzarella. The Subway Club features the chain's new Hearty Multigrain bread, while the All-American Club gets the Artisan Italian. 

You can experience "Eat Fresh Refresh" in two ways when it launches: Line up in person early on July 13 to snag a free 6" Turkey Cali Fresh sub (from 10 a.m. to noon local time) and at the same time, check out some locations' "design refinements," or order from home using the chain's upgraded Subway app and delivery system, per Chew Boom.