retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports on how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently underwrote a research project that looked at the DNA of chicken sold at a variety of fast food restaurants there, concluding that the chicken sold at Subway "was found to be almost equal parts meat to soy, based on DNA ... The lab analyzed six orders of the chicken strips and seven pieces of the oven roasted chicken. Averaged across all samples, the roasted sandwich meat proved to be only about 50 percent chicken by DNA. The strips were just over 40 percent chicken."

According to the story, "This was not the first time that the Canadian center, a joint effort between Trent University and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, unmasked adulterated chow. In June, the facility detected horsemeat in ground beef patties sold in Canada." And, the Post notes, "Subway would not be the only food chain to be hit with an impostor meat scandal. Taco Bell, accused of selling beef that was only 35 percent cow, launched a campaign to show its taco fillings were 88 percent beef. In 2013, Swedish furniture seller Ikea recalled frozen meatballs sold by the bag at its European stores, after testing revealed the presence of horsemeat."

Subway has responded by saying that its chicken is "100% white meat with seasonings,” and that the report is “false and misleading." Subway has demanded a retraction. It has not received one.

Other chains studied - including McDonald's, Wendy's, and A&W - did much better in the test, scoring near 100 percent.
KC's View:
If the research is correct, then this is the kind of story that can do some real damage to a company's image. And sales. And profits.

I never had a lot of confidence in Subway. Always figured it was both easier and healthier - and a lot tastier - to just buy ingredients at the store and then make myself a sandwich at home.