Another subreddit focus group experiment… this time we went into the Nutrition subreddit at reddit.com/r/nutrition. There are over 30,000 subscribers in this subreddit and we received a great response to our question about the nutritional perception of Subway.
r/Nutrition Responded: This submission was ranked as a top 5 submission in the last year in the Nutrition subreddit. The subscribers at r/nutrition showed up big with 111 upvotes (9 down) and 114 total comments. Here are some of the top comments from the thread:
- The #1 comment came from Hakobune and had 112 upvotes (13 down): “Subway is one of the few fast food places I’ll eat at. I don’t think ‘healthy’ is the right word, because its still fast food, but compared to Shitdonalds or BK you’re really much better off going to subway…”
- A handful of “former employees” responded – bblemonade said, “Almost everything there comes out of a plastic bag. At least it did when I worked there.”
- Lots of redditors are concerned about the amount of “carbs” in a Subway sandwich – JohnnyP51 said: “If you want to devote a large portion of your calories to carbohydrates then it’s fine, but they market “low fat” options as being “healthy”. But then again they put chips on a sandwich and serve bootleg pizza.”
- Most agreed that you can choose to make your sub healthy or unhealthy, AtomikRadio commented: “…On the flip side Subway you build from the ground up, allowing you to pick and choose the healthier options easily, and they have a much wider selection of vegetables than your average fast-food place would have. Even Jimmy Johns, the other sandwich place in my town, doesn’t have half the selection of veggies or a low-cal dressing selection…”
One reason we think this question performed so well is that it was a discussion-provoking question. The submission had some bias that we expected a Nutrition-focused community would mostly agree with. At the same time, the submission posed a possible rebuttal.
I would highly recommend that brand managers of Subway read these comments and it might even benefit them to reply to some of the comments. A skilled social media manager could build good will and win over a community of nutrition-minded consumers if they participated in these types of discussion threads.