17 votes

Subway bread does not meet tax exempt legal definition of bread, Irish court rules

18 comments

  1. ohyran
    Link
    This is actually a fair point in general. Friends who moved here from the US noticed that they fell in weight fairly quickly - and the only difference was that the amount of sugar-variants (corn...

    This is actually a fair point in general. Friends who moved here from the US noticed that they fell in weight fairly quickly - and the only difference was that the amount of sugar-variants (corn starch specifically) allowed in US food is banned here.

    16 votes
  2. [10]
    acdw
    Link
    It's funny how my opinion, albeit strongly held, that Subway is absolute trash is met with such puzzlement by my fellow Americans. I don't get it. They're trash sandwiches.

    It's funny how my opinion, albeit strongly held, that Subway is absolute trash is met with such puzzlement by my fellow Americans. I don't get it. They're trash sandwiches.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      That’s a pretty common sentiment. I don’t know anybody who considers them “good”. They go because they are cheap and fast.

      That’s a pretty common sentiment. I don’t know anybody who considers them “good”. They go because they are cheap and fast.

      7 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        Fair enough! Here we also have Jimmy John's which is also cheap and fast

        Fair enough! Here we also have Jimmy John's which is also cheap and fast

        1 vote
      2. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        They might still be fast but they deffo ain't cheap here anymore.

        They might still be fast but they deffo ain't cheap here anymore.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      I'm not american but … I like them. In fact, I'm French and I'm pretty particular about sandwiches. A jambon-beurre or saucisson sandwich with high quality baguette bread is one of my favourite...

      I'm not american but … I like them.

      In fact, I'm French and I'm pretty particular about sandwiches. A jambon-beurre or saucisson sandwich with high quality baguette bread is one of my favourite meals. But Subway sandwiches are kind of their own thing, their own category of food.

      I definitely wouldn't call them "trash", at any rate. Maybe they shouldn't be compared to other sandwiches but rather to burgers and wraps.

      6 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        I can respect that! Like how I love Taco Bell. It's not Mexican food, but it's good on it's own!

        I can respect that! Like how I love Taco Bell. It's not Mexican food, but it's good on it's own!

        4 votes
    3. [2]
      arp242
      Link Parent
      I usually got the footlong whole-grain bread (I don't now how heathy it actually is, there's a lot of faffing around with "whole grain", and I don't know how much added sugar is in that one, this...

      I usually got the footlong whole-grain bread (I don't now how heathy it actually is, there's a lot of faffing around with "whole grain", and I don't know how much added sugar is in that one, this report only mentions the white bread) with vegetables for €5 when I lived in Ireland, which is actually a pretty good price and seems better than the chipper or McDonalds after the pub.

      Is it the best bread in the world? Obviously not. But it's €5 for a big sandwich, so what do you expect?

      3 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        This is very fair. Full disclosure, I over ate Subway in college because it was one of very few options.

        Is it the best bread in the world? Obviously not. But it's €5 for a big sandwich, so what do you expect?

        This is very fair. Full disclosure, I over ate Subway in college because it was one of very few options.

        2 votes
    4. [2]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Maybe they think it’s good or healthy only in comparison to the alternatives.

      Maybe they think it’s good or healthy only in comparison to the alternatives.

      2 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        Maybe? I feel like anymore there's way more healthy options though.

        Maybe? I feel like anymore there's way more healthy options though.

  3. [7]
    babypuncher
    Link
    2% sugar/flower ratio seems really low. I'm guessing most sandwich bread at my grocery store wouldn't qualify under that rule.

    2% sugar/flower ratio seems really low. I'm guessing most sandwich bread at my grocery store wouldn't qualify under that rule.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      Thra11
      Link Parent
      Most bread has zero added sugar, so 2% is actually quite forgiving. You can still make and sell loaves with more sugar in, they're just considered a luxury rather than a staple, so they aren't...

      Most bread has zero added sugar, so 2% is actually quite forgiving. You can still make and sell loaves with more sugar in, they're just considered a luxury rather than a staple, so they aren't exempt from tax (I think they can still qualify for a reduced rate, just not 0%).

      You can read the relevant definition of bread here:

      For the purposes of this Part “bread” means food for human consumption manufactured by baking dough composed exclusively of a mixture of cereal flour and any one or more of the ingredients included in column (1) of Table 2 to this paragraph that do not exceed the quantities (if any) set out for each ingredient in column (2) of that table, but does not include food packaged for sale as a unit (not being a unit designated as containing only food specifically for babies) containing 2 or more slices, segments, sections or other similar pieces, having a crust over substantially the whole of their outside surfaces, being a crust formed in the course of baking, frying or toasting.
      ...
      Sugar ­— Not exceeding 2%

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I guess it's just weird to me because no reasonable person wouldn't call the fluffy sliced carbohydrates sitting in my pantry "bread", except apparently for the Irish government. It's a strange...

        I guess it's just weird to me because no reasonable person wouldn't call the fluffy sliced carbohydrates sitting in my pantry "bread", except apparently for the Irish government. It's a strange way to phrase a standard dictating how healthy food should be to qualify for tax breaks, to the point where I almost wonder if it's the result of some clever editorializing to earn some clicks. They could easily say that the bread does not meet the nutritional standards necessary to earn a tax deduction, rather than the clickbait-ready "Subway's bread isn't actually bread"

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          To be fair, the actual headline is very clear and specific about what’s going on: “Subway bread does not meet tax exempt legal definition of bread, Irish court rules”.

          To be fair, the actual headline is very clear and specific about what’s going on: “Subway bread does not meet tax exempt legal definition of bread, Irish court rules”.

          6 votes
      2. [2]
        WMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWM
        Link Parent
        This is not true in the U.S., at least for officially designated bread.

        Most bread has zero added sugar

        This is not true in the U.S., at least for officially designated bread.

        1 vote
        1. Thra11
          Link Parent
          You're right. I didn't phrase it very well. What I meant was that if you look at something like different "types of bread", i.e. recipes that are generally referred to as "bread" or the equivalent...

          You're right. I didn't phrase it very well. What I meant was that if you look at something like different "types of bread", i.e. recipes that are generally referred to as "bread" or the equivalent in other languages, then the majority of bread types probably don't have sugar in. This is, of course, not the same as the majority of loaves consumed not having sugar in, as places like the US have large populations consuming a lot of sugary (or HFCS-y) bread.

          1 vote
    2. A1kmm
      Link Parent
      I think that it probably depends where you live. Bread in most parts of the world has just enough sugar to feed the yeast to make it rise. Products such as 'banana bread' do have more sugar...

      I think that it probably depends where you live. Bread in most parts of the world has just enough sugar to feed the yeast to make it rise. Products such as 'banana bread' do have more sugar everywhere in the world, but banana bread is considered a form of cake.

      In North America, on the other hand, the standard is to add significantly more sugar (possibly in the form of a corn syrup). To the palates of most non-Americans, American sandwich bread is more like cake in terms of the sweetness.

      So it is unsurprising that an American company rolling out products similar to what they sell in their country of origin to other parts of the world would encounter differences in how their product is locally categorised.

      It is probably also a good example of where localisation of products to local norms would have been better practice than blind copying when entering a new market (similarly, for example, that same chain also rolls out imperial units in naming their products to countries where those units are not in current use or well understood).

      4 votes