Subway's Footlong Cookie Removed From App For Being Too Popular

Subway’s new Sidekicks (a footlong cookie, churro, and pretzel) are the heroes of the menu.

Subway's bet on footlong snacks and desserts is paying off faster than anyone probably thought a ruler-length cookie would. The chain announced today that sales for its new Sidekicks menu category are blowing up and have contributed to a strong start to 2024.

For those whose footlong familiarity only goes as far as Subway's sandwiches, the brand recently launched a new menu category called Sidekicks, which includes a footlong cookie, footlong churro (a Cinnabon partnership), and footlong pretzel (an Auntie Anne's collaboration). Prices vary: it's $5 for the cookie, $2 for the churro, and $3 for the pretzel. The cookie was originally launched before the others as a National Cookie Day promotion, and its success is likely what inspired the new category introduction as a whole.

Just two weeks after the launch of the Sidekicks, Subway says (per an email sent to The Takeout) that it has sold more than 3.5 million of the footlong treats, and the brand has had to rush additional supply to keep up with the demand. In particular, the footlong cookie has had the most success of the three Sidekicks—I told you there was a hero in the mix!—and it has sold so well that Subway has temporarily removed the Sidekicks from its digital ordering systems to manage the demand.

As of this publication, the cookie is not displayed on the online menu at all. The churro and pretzel are listed as "sold out."

"Sidekicks are a big hit with guests and the latest proof that Subway is a remarkably different brand than it was when we began our transformation journey three years ago — and we're not slowing down," said John Chidsey, CEO of Subway, in the email announcement.

As the Sidekicks save the day, Subway's sandwiches might be dragging it down. Last year, Subway announced it would be adding deli slicers to all of its restaurants. Since the implementation of these slicers, though, the sandwiches made with freshly sliced meat are not noticeably different from those made with pre-sliced cold cuts, and the deli slicers have been met with backlash from franchise owners, who claim the machines lead to lost productivity and added food waste.

On the other hand, Subway notes in its recent announcement that the slicers have improved the quality of the brand's meats and the customer experience. The chain had a 6.4% increase in same-store sales globally at the end of 2023 compared to 2022 and 5.9% increase in same-store sales in North America. Subway also said its plans for 2024 include "exciting new menu items at a great value" and revamps of its restaurant designs. For now, though, the cookie is king.