Underinflated Blimpie! "Double-Meat" Sub Fails Gut Check Weigh-in! [Updated 2x with Response from Blimpie]

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Updates: Blimpie's own nutritional info supports our findings. See the end of the post for more details.

Update: (Saturday, 2.27, 10:30 a.m.) Blimpie issued an official response to this article:
We are grateful for feedback like this as it allows us to enhance the customer experience.

All of the Super Stacked sub recipes and build charts provided by Blimpie corporate to franchisees do have double portions of meat compared to its similar regular sandwich counterparts. Providing this type of operations support to our franchisees helps ensure that we provide a great experience to every customer, every time. However, since we make thousands of subs every day that are individually made-to-order, there can be variances in portion sizes from restaurant to restaurant, employee to employee and even sandwich to sandwich.

Our customers that order and eat our Super Stacked subs do so without complaint. In the case of this particular experience, we will address the issue at the store-level.
Careful readers will note that the response, which places the blame on the individual store, doesn't address the issue raised in the article below: It does not seem mathematically possible, based on the sandwich weight provided by Blimpie's own nutritional information  -- which the sandwich sampled matches approximately -- for the Super Stacked sandwich to provide literally a double portion of meat.

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Chain sandwich restaurant Blimpie faces a lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois, over its double-meat sandwiches. Plaintiffs Ronald Wilson and Jennifer Clayton allege that Blimpie doesn't provide the advertised double portion of meat on its Super Stacked sandwiches.

Gut Check decided it was time to break out the digital scale.

IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
Above, on the left of the scale, is a 6-inch Blimpie Best sub with its regular portion of cold cuts. On the right is a 6-inch Blimpie Best ordered with double the meat. These were procured from the Blimpie at 17287 Wild Horse Creek Road, which despite being located inside a gas station mini-mart is among the locations on the official Blimpie website.

I should note that this particular Blimpie did not include the Super Stacked trademark on its menu board. However, it did have "double meat" as an option, which is what I chose; a double portion of meat is what Super Stacked sandwiches claim to provide.

Update: (Friday, 2.26, 3:45 p.m.) The nutritional info quoted at the end of the post supports the fact that, the Super Stacked name notwithstanding, the sandwiches we tested weigh as much as Blimpie intended them to weigh.

This afternoon, Blimpie released a statement on the lawsuit, the key part of which follows (emphasis ours):
For more than 45 years and in hundreds of shops around the globe, Blimpie has served millions of customers fresh, wholesome subs made with sliced-to-order meats and topped with premium cheeses and fresh vegetables. That's our mission and we fulfill it.

That's why we are upset by a recent claim that says our Super Stacked™ subs don't have double meat portions. They do. What they don't have is twice the protein, and we don't say that they do. There is twice the protein from meat because it's double the meat, but it's not double the protein because the bread and cheese also contain protein and it's served on the same roll for both sandwiches.
So Blimpie is basically arguing that the lawsuit (which the company says it has yet to see) has no merit because the plaintiffs are confusing meat and protein. But is there really twice as much protein from meat, as the company claims?

IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
Above is the regular 6-inch sandwich. It weighs 10.3 ounces,according to our digital scale.

IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
We then weighed just the meat, which totals 5 ounces.

According to Blimpie's own argument, the double-portion sandwich should contain "twice the protein from meat because it's double the meat" -- in other words, 10 ounces of meat.

IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
As you can see, the 6-inch, double-meat sandwich weighs 12 ounces, which means that the non-meat portion of the sandwich would have to weigh only 2 ounces for this to contain double the meat of the regular sandwich. However, the non-meat portion of the regular sandwich weighs 5.3 ounces, and aside from the meat, the two sandwiches are more or less identical (bread, cheese, tomato, lettuce).

IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
Weighing the meat by itself, we find that it totals 6.9 ounces, or 1.38 times as much meat as on the regular sandwich.

Now, granted, this is a comparison between two sandwiches from one Blimpie location -- hardly the stuff of scientific proof. However, the difference between 6.9 ounces of meat and the expected 10 ounces of meat is significant.

I have a call in to the spokesperson for Kalaha Corp., the parent company of Blimpie. I'll update this with the company's comment as soon as I have it.

Update: (Friday, 2.26, 3:40 p.m.) The nutritional information provided on the Blimpie website (link PDF) supports our findings that the Super Stacked sandwich by design does not provide double the meat of the regular version.

HTTP://WWW.BLIMPIE.COM/ASSETS/PDF/BLMP_NUTRITIONAL_INFO_020410.PDF
  • http://www.blimpie.com/assets/pdf/BLMP_Nutritional_Info_020410.pdf
According to Blimpie's own data, a regular 6-inch Blimpie's Best sandwich should weigh 296 grams, or 10.44 ounces. Our regular sandwich weighed 10.3 ounces. a 6-inch Super Stacked Blimpie's Best sandwich should weigh 364 grams, or 12.84 ounces. Ours weighed 12 ounces.

Again, if you take Blimpie's statement at face value, there is no way that the same sandwich with twice as much meat could weigh only 2.4 ounces more.   

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