The fast food industry is always raising the bar against its competitors, working to find a unique angle that it offers consumers compared to the other fast food restaurants.
Subway has made its name with its freshly baked bread and fresh ingredients for sandwiches. Taco Bell Yum Brands (YUM) – Get free report serving a variety of Mexican dishes. Yum’s Kentucky Fried Chicken is known for finger-licking fried chicken. Chipotle Mexican Grill offers fresh ingredients made to order burritos.
The fast food industry is always testing new menu items to see what works with customers. Some of these new items, tested in select markets, make it to the permanent menu, and sometimes they’re complete flops for one reason or another. KFC tried the Famous Bowl Fill Up back in 2006 and the bowl made it to the permanent menu. The bowl allows customers to mix and match their favorite flavors at the restaurants. The dish contains well… chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, cheese and gravy.
Healthier menu items to increase competition
Taco Bell test marketed the Power Menu Bowl, and it made its menu debut nationwide in 2014. Essentially, Taco Bell had all the fixings and the bowl, it just needed a way to easily order it. The Power Menu Bowl is rice, chicken, beans, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and guacamole.
The Power Menu Bowl is a fairly direct competitive menu item to Chipotle’s entire menu. Chipotle offers fresh and healthy ingredients that allow customers to cook their own food and accommodate diets such as vegan, vegetarian, plant-based and gluten-free.
Subway launches its own direct competition against fast food ‘dish’ Chipotle. It’s a healthy competition as both restaurants serve a lot of health options, but Subway takes a stab at the ‘bowl’ market.
Subway in Canada launched new rice bowls with four different bowls available and always customizable. Crispy Chicken Bacon & Peppercorn Ranch Signature Rice Bowl serves crispy chicken, Maplewood smoked bacon, grated Monterey jack cheese over a bed of mixed seasoned brown, red and wild rice. The bowl can be topped with all the fresh vegetables and a drizzle of the brand new peppercorn ranch dressing.
Subway also offers the Green Goddess Veggie Signature Rice Bowl. The Green Goddess Veggie bowl is a medley of vegetables over seasoned brown, red and wild rice, topped with smashed avocado and the new tangy Green Goddess Dressing.
Something with a little more kick is the Southwest Steak and Avocado Signature Rice Bowl. This bowl comes with seasoned brown rice, red and wild rice, fresh vegetables and Canadian seasoned steak and smashed avocado and Southwest Chipotle sauce and banana peppers.
For those with a sweeter tooth, Subway offers the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Signature Rice Bowl. The bowl features the same mix of seasoned brown, red and wild rice with strips of teriyaki chicken topped with choice of vegetables and drizzled with sweet onion sauce.
When it’s good, it gets copied
Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl builds a burrito sans tortilla, starting with protein: steak, chicken, carnitas, barbacoa, garlic guajillo steak, sofritas and veggie. Additional choices to add to the burrito bowl are white or brown rice followed by black or pinto beans, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili corn salsa, tomatillo green chili salsa, tomatillo red chili salsa, fajita veggies, romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, queso, and sour cream.
When a business is successful and it can be duplicated, it will be. Taco Bell saw this from Chipotle years before Subway decided to add it to its menu.