A Tim Hortons coffee shop in downtown Toronto, on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima

Tim Hortons pulls Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches from B.C., Ontario menus

‘Ultimately, our guests choose to stay with the meat option’

Tim Hortons has pulled Beyond Meat products off the menus in the last provinces where it still sold the trendy plant-based protein, less than a year after a national roll out.

The coffee-and-doughnut chain will no longer sell Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches in Ontario and B.C., said Sarah McConnell, a spokeswoman for parent company Restaurant Brands International.

“Ultimately, our guests choose to stay with the meat option in their breakfast sandwiches,” she wrote in an email.

The company first piloted the plant-based offering in May. Select locations added three Beyond Meat breakfast menu items and based on consumer demand, the company said it hoped to roll them out nationally by summer’s end.

In mid-June, Tim Hortons added two Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches and one wrap to menus at almost 4,000 of its Canadian locations. About a month later, the chain announced its first burger offering with two Beyond Meat burgers nationwide.

In September, the company pulled the burgers from all locations, but said it would still sell the plant-based protein breakfast sandwiches in Ontario and B.C. thanks to a “positive reaction” from customers.

That enthusiasm eventually waned.

“We will keep an item on the menu if it’s favoured by our guests,” wrote McConnell. “In this case, we did not see enough demand to keep it as a permanent item.”

RBI CEO Jose Cil referenced the products as “a limited-time offer” in an October conference call with analysts — about a month after the company scaled back Beyond Meat availability.

A Beyond Meat spokeswoman did not respond to emailed questions, but sent a one-line statement.

“We partnered with Tim Hortons on a limited time offer. We are always open to collaborating with our partners and may work with them again in the future,” Emily Glickman wrote in an email.

Other chains have seen greater success with alternative-protein items as consumers, including those who eat meat, flock to plant-based proteins for health, environmental and animal welfare reasons.

A&W became the first national restaurant chain to serve Beyond Meat patties in July 2018. Initial demand outstripped supply and the fast-food chain temporarily ran out of stock.

The burger chain has since added a plant-based nugget to its menu for a few weeks, and CEO Susan Senecal has said demand for the veggie burgers has “stayed remarkably stable” since the launch.

Tim Hortons doesn’t seem to be shutting the door completely on the trend.

READ MORE: Beyond Meat goes public as sales of plant-based meats rise (May 2019)

“We will continue to explore plant-based options as part of our regular menu innovation pipeline,” McConnell wrote.

“But there is nothing new planned for the restaurants in the immediate future.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Tim Hortons

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Schools get creative to provide food to students

Initiatives underway include providing gift cards

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read