Subway, the global fast-food chain, has launched a three-inch mini sandwich in Pakistan as a response to the country’s ongoing inflation crisis. This marks the first time Subway has introduced a mini version of its sandwiches anywhere in the world.
The mini sandwich, quietly added to Pakistani menus last month, aims to provide “value” to Pakistani customers amid soaring inflation rates. Pakistan has been grappling with Asia’s fastest inflation, with double-digit percentage increases causing a cost-of-living crisis for its nearly 250 million people. Many restaurants have responded to rising prices by either increasing menu prices or reducing portion sizes.
While Pakistan’s headline inflation rate eased for the third consecutive month in August, still standing at a high 27.38% on an annual basis, experts anticipate that this trend may not last. Food inflation, in particular, continues to rise, increasing by 38.5% compared to the previous year.
The country’s inflation situation is expected to worsen due to a weaker rupee driving up import costs and government-mandated increases in fuel and utility prices to meet the terms of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. As a result, experts project that inflation could average around 30% in the final four months of the year.
Earlier this year, Pakistan secured a $3 billion bailout disbursement from the IMF, which came with stringent conditions, including raising fuel and energy prices. These measures have led to mass protests as citizens demand relief from the rising cost of electricity.