Subway's New $3 Dippers: Are These Footlong Snacks Worth The Value?

The multinational sandwich chain Subway hasn't taken so much as a breath, or a lunch break, so far in 2024. The company has been too busy developing and unveiling new ways for all of us to eat fresh. Just this year, it spread its sauces even further by bottling them up to sell through top retailers. Wraps also became a top Subway story in April after they joined the already stacked sandwich lineup

But the topic that's had most of the fast food world chattering over the past few months is the chain's introduction of its Sidekicks collection. These footlong snacks, including Auntie Anne's pretzels, Cinnabon churros, and chocolate chip cookies, have become an overnight sensation. The chain divulged that a whopping 30 million of the treats have been sold since their launch in January. The number would have been even higher barring a cookie shortage that occurred due to high demand. It only makes sense for Subway to continue rolling with this success, which is why it released Dippers, the newest addition to the Sidekicks family, just in time for summer. And, the best part? They are just $3 each.

As with any brand-new product, these creations spark curiosity but also a few questions. You may be wondering — are they really a foot long? How do they taste? And, most importantly, are they worth your hard-earned cash? We dip into all of these hot and juicy details, plus even more, below.

What are the new Dippers?

So, what exactly is a Dipper anyway? Well, it's unlike anything you've ever seen at the Subway sandwich shop — an entirely new way to snack. According to a news release from the Subway team, each one is a swirl of melted cheese and meats all rolled up into one of the chain's soft and "lavash-style" flatbreads — the same kind used on its new wraps. The savory sticks are served hot and are in fact an entire foot long, just like the previously released Sidekicks — yes, we even measured for ourselves just to be sure. For now, they come in three different flavors: Double Cheese, Chicken & Cheese, and Pepperoni & Cheese.

The name Dippers also implies that these snacks come equipped with something to dip them in, and Subway does not disappoint in this department. Hungry customers can pair theirs with any of the restaurant's 11 signature sauces. These include classics like mayonnaise, mustard, and Buffalo sauce. Or, they can turn up the flavor meter with choices such as MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette, creamy sriracha, Baja Chipotle, or peppercorn ranch. In total, that makes for 33 different dipper flavor combinations just waiting to be devoured.

Where can you find the footlong snacks, and are they really just $3?

Folks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, received a special sneak preview of the Dippers during an initial test run. Then, following what Subway's senior vice president of culinary and innovation Paul Fabre told Restaurant Business was a "tremendous guest response," they were promptly introduced nationwide. As of June 18, 2024, they are now available to order in-store or online at Subway restaurants across the country — even at locations inside Walmart supercenters. On a global scale, Dippers popped up in Canada on June 24, along with the rest of the Sidekicks menu. And, Subway fans in the U.K. and Ireland can also now get in on all the cheesy action.

When it comes to price, the Dippers really do ring up at just $3 a pop, sauce and all. Doug Fry, president of Subway North America, explained the reasoning behind this ultra-low pricing in an interview with Good Morning America. "We are starting to see restaurants come up with menu items that are focused on adding greater value. The challenge that comes with greater value is there's a sacrifice for consumers — quality," Fry explains. "We don't think our guests need to sacrifice quality for price. So we're bringing in $3 Footlong Dippers." As such, this affordable $3 price tag holds true at most Subway locations, unless you happen to live in the states of California, Hawaii, or Alaska where costs are higher, according to the chain's press release.

Taste test: Double Cheese Dipper

Let's start with the most basic of Dippers. Standing at 710 calories with sauce, this simple roll-up lacks any kind of meat. Instead, it packs in two types of cheese — American and Monterey Cheddar — the latter of which was nearly undetectable. Sure, it made its presence known as off-white oozy globs swirled in with the orange. However, in terms of taste, it cowered behind the American cheese's creaminess. The soft, supple wrap is something to be admired, on the other hand. It's doughy with more body than a tortilla so it can stand on its own, similar to pita bread. After its trip through the toaster, it comes out warm and tender rather than crisp with melty cheese glimmering from the inside.

The feature that's missing from the footlong snack is some oomph or standout flavor since the cheese and bread are rather mild by nature. Perhaps this is where the sauce comes in. The Double Cheese Dipper is buddied up with the peppercorn ranch dressing, although it can be paired with any dip. Rich, tangy, and peppery, the ranch is a good start. The creamy sriracha or even Baja Chipotle may be better choices though if you're looking to spice things up. At the end of the day, this variety could really go with any of the dips and taste palatable due to its versatility. But, if its likeability boils down to a sauce-scooping vessel, is it really a good product?

Taste test: Pepperoni & Cheese Dipper

This 680-calorie Dipper had the upper hand from the start, stuffed with a healthy helping of the chain's famed spicy pepperoni — the same slices that are found slapped on The Ultimate B.M.T. and The Hotshot Italiano subs. The salami variety brings just enough heat to the table to create a subtle mouth zing but is quickly stabilized by the melted American cheese. The extended bread casing is wrapped thickly around its contents, yet it still allows for an even meat and cheese-to-wrap ratio. If we're being honest, it's tasty enough to eat all on its own.

But, what would a Dipper be without its trusty dip? The Pepperoni & Cheese's default coupling is with the Baja Chipotle — a somewhat puzzling choice. The combination creates an interesting marriage of cuisines with Italian influence on one side and a Southwest or even Mexican flair on the other. The bold flavors clash rather than work together in harmony. Ranch, on the other hand, is light enough to work, and the MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette albeit unorthodox as a dip makes for an Italian sub-style eating experience. A smooth marinara would be another conceivable option, but alas, the sauce doesn't make Subway's list of 11 options.

Taste test: Chicken & Cheese Dipper

With poultry, cheese, a fluffy flatbread base, and a suggested honey mustard side for dipping, this Sidekick is structurally similar to the chain's new Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap. There are a handful of important differences, however. First, it's obviously simplified, sans the veggie fillers. The Monterey Cheddar cheese from the wrap also takes a break while the American cheese takes over. And lastly, instead of rotisserie chicken, the Dipper sports chunks of chicken strips — the most pronounced, and unfortunate, variance between the two. Although it does bring up the snack's rank in terms of heartiness, the protein winds up tasting boiled or like it was scooped from a can rather than grilled, baked, or cooked using another more appetizing method.

Luckily, the remaining ingredients — mostly the honey mustard — swoop in to save the day, working hard to mask the indecencies of the unseasoned chicken. That Subway honey mustard sauce truly is something to admire. Creamy and flawlessly walking the line between sweet and tangy, it could transform even the most mundane Dipper into a delightful treat. With this revitalizing sauce, the Chicken & Cheese weighs in at 580 calories. Of course, if honey mustard doesn't tickle your fancy, the peppercorn ranch or Frank's RedHot-based Buffalo sauce are also worthy matches for this variation.

Are they ultimately worth it?

For a cost of just $3, yes, the new Dippers are absolutely worth it. Are they the most toothsome and craveable food item to hit Subway's menu? No. But, we don't think anyone — even the chain itself — really expected them to be. The cheesy roll-ups serve their purpose as a value snack, and relative to their low cost they are surprisingly tasty and filling. Plus, both adults and kids alike can relish in the novelty of mixing and matching a sauce to their favorite Dipper. Not to mention, the new Sidekicks options help Subway step foot into the economic era many other fast food chains are currently adopting. With a $3 offering, the sandwich chain can better compete with giants like McDonald's and Taco Bell that are dialed in on dollar menus, meal deals, and even Cravings Boxes right now.

If you are seeking out a specific flavor recommendation, the savory spice of the Pepperoni & Cheese is one you don't want to miss. However, accompanied by a cup of sauce, the Chicken & Cheese and Double Cheese are more than satisfactory. Any of the three Dippers would make for a great extra tacked onto the end of your Subway order. After all, they're just $3.