Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Tim Hortons to offer Beyond Meat for breakfast

Coffee chain to test-market non-meat sausage patties

Tim Hortons is testing three plant-based breakfast sandwich options in the Canadian market. (CNW Group/Tim Hortons)

The plant-based meat substitute that’s made its way to the menus of burger chains such as A+W in Canada and Carl’s Jr. in the U.S. is about to test itself against the Tim Hortons breakfast crowd.

The coffee-and-doughnut chain announced Wednesday it’s now testing three types of breakfast sandwiches at “select” stores in Canada using Los Angeles-based processor Beyond Meat’s breakfast sausage patty.

The chain, owned by Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International, said it could roll out the breakfast sandwich, farmers’ breakfast wrap and a fully vegan breakfast sandwich at its 4,000-odd restaurants across Canada by the end of the summer “if market tests confirm their potential.”

Beyond Meat’s breakfast sausage patty itself is nothing new to the Canadian fast food market. A+W, which added Beyond Meat burgers to its Canadian menu in July last year, followed up in March this year by launching Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches nationwide.

Tim Hortons’ test launch, however, comes in the wake of Beyond Meat’s initial public offering (IPO) and the May 2 trading launch of the latter company’s shares on the Nasdaq.

Beyond Meat stock, which closed Tuesday at $79.68, spiked to $93 in trading Wednesday following Tim Hortons’ announcement and closed at $86.92 (all figures US$).

“A national launch would allow us to further our mission of making delicious plant-based products more readily accessible to Canadians nationwide,” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said in Tim Hortons’ release.

Tim Hortons billed the Beyond Meat sandwiches as allowing “vegans and meat lovers alike” to “enjoy the taste and satisfaction of a breakfast classic they know and love, without sacrifice.”

Beyond Meat has also made inroads in the Canadian retail market in recent months, selling its burger patties through grocery chains including Sobeys, Safeway, Save On, Metro, Whole Foods, IGA and Co-op stores, and in the Canadian restaurant market through chains including Earl’s and Quesada.

The U.S. processor has seen some pushback from Canada’s meat sector, however.

Quebec’s Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and cattle producer group Producteurs de bovins du Quebec last week said they would approach the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to prohibit the use of the word “meat” in marketing vegetable protein products.

In an opinion piece Friday on UPA’s website, the organization’s chairman Marcel Groleau argued that the Beyond Meats of the world see strong market potential in “polarization” of the food sector. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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