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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Subway has become the latest fast-food chain to jump on the plant-based protein bandwagon by releasing a new meatless meatball sub.

The sandwich chain announced in a news release Wednesday that it has partnered with Beyond Meat on the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub that will be sold in 685 locations in the U.S. and Canada starting in September.

"Our guests want to feel good about what they eat and they also want to indulge in new flavors," Len Van Popering, Subway chief brand and innovation officer, said in a statement. "With our new plant-based Beyond Meatball Marinara sub, we are giving them the best of both worlds."

The sandwich will feature marinara sauce and provolone cheese on meatballs made by Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles-based maker of plant-based meat substitutes. The sandwich contains 24 grams of protein per six-inch sub, the company said.

The popularity of plant-based meat substitutes, particularly burgers, has increased in recent years as more people go fully vegan and vegetarian or look to cut down on their meat intake.

Dunkin' Donuts announced last month that is has partnered with Beyond Meat on a meatless sausage breakfast sandwich at locations in Manhattan. TGI Friday's rolled out a Beyond Burger last year in partnership with the company.

Chick-fil-A said in May that it's testing vegan items, and McDonald's rolled out vegan "chicken" nuggets to customers in Norway in March.

The Subway announcement also comes after Burger King announced last week that starting on Thursday it will be selling the Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of its signature burger (though it may not be entirely vegetarian), in restaurants nationwide.

The patty is made by Beyond Meat competitor Impossible Foods and features soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, salt, yeast and a variety of emulsifying agents.