Photo: Subway

In the annals of fast-food history, 2019 will be remembered as the year plant-based meat substitutes took over. Whatever the future might hold for replicated burgers, fish, and other new proteins, right now each new day seems to bring news of another major chain adding vegetarian-friendly “meats” to its menu.

In recent months, Beyond Meat has struck deals with Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., and Dunkin’ to push its products into the mainstream. Now, the company has partnered with its highest-profile client yet: Subway. For all of the sandwich chain’s recent adversity, it’s still one of the most widely accessible fast-food restaurants out there, and its latest crack at turning its fortunes around will bring a Beyond Meatball Marinara sub to the people.

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For a limited time beginning in September, 685 Subway locations in the U.S. and Canada will debut the Beyond Meatball Marinara on a test basis. (If this test goes anything like the one for the Impossible Whopper, expect to see a national expansion follow it.) While some major chains have waffled on the prospect of adding imitation meats to their menus, there’s little to lose and much to gain for Subway here. Considering the present state of things, a bit of a shakeup could be just what the doctor ordered.