Tim Hortons retreats from Beyond

Tim Hortons is dialing back its Beyond Meat marketing in Canada and will keep the plant-based meat substitute on its sandwich menus in Ontario and British Columbia alone.

The coffee-and-donut chain, an arm of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International and Canada’s biggest fast-food chain by number of outlets, first test-marketed breakfast sandwiches with the U.S. company’s plant-based patties in select stores in May.

Tim’s at the time pledged a “national rollout by the end of the summer” for the sandwiches if the tests “confirm the potential for the platform.”

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The chain’s Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwiches, with Beyond Breakfast Sausage patties, went national in Tim’s nearly 4,000 Canadian outlets in June, followed by a nationwide rollout for Beyond Burgers on Tim’s lunch and dinner menu in July.

This week, however, the chain described its nationwide introductions of Beyond Burgers and Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches as “a limited time offer.”

“We are always listening to our guests and testing a wide variety of products across the country,” a Tim Hortons representative said via email Wednesday.

“We have particularly seen positive reaction to our Beyond Meat offering in Ontario and B.C., especially in breakfast, and are proud to offer both alternatives in those regions.”

That said, Tim Hortons added it “may explore offering the product again in other provinces at a future date based on ongoing guest feedback.”

The Beyond Meat product line, processed by Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat, is made with plant-based ingredients including pea, mung bean and rice protein, canola oil, coconut oil, potato starch, sunflower lecithin and beet juice, among others.

Nasdaq-traded Beyond Meat’s stock slipped Wednesday to $153.99, down from Tuesday’s closing price of $160.31 and well off its 52-week high of $239.71 (all figures US$).

Tim Hortons is far from the only path of exposure for Beyond Meat in the fast food and casual dining sectors. Beyond Meat’s products are on the menu at chains including A+W, Subway, Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., Dunkin’ and, in another recent test-marketing offer, KFC.

Impossible Foods, another California-based processor in the plant-based meat substitute sector, is working with chains such as Qdoba and Tim Hortons’ RBI sister chain, Burger King.

Another Canadian burger chain, Harvey’s, on Sept. 3 announced a national rollout of a plant-based burger option made by Maple Leaf Foods subsidiary Lightlife. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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