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Tim Hortons to pull Beyond Meat offerings everywhere except Ontario and B.C.

Tim Hortons is now offering new Beyond Burgers at nearly 4,000 restaurants nationwide (CNW Group/Tim Hortons)
Tim Hortons will continue offering its Beyond Meat Burger and breakfast sandwiches at Ontario and B.C. locations. (CNW Group/Tim Hortons)

While restaurant chains across North America are jumping on the plant-based meat alternative craze, Tim Hortons is taking a step back.

The coffee and doughnut chain confirmed Wednesday that it will be pulling the Beyond Meat Burger and Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches from locations in all provinces except Ontario and British Columbia.

Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND) closed on Wednesday down nearly 4 per cent at $153.99.

A spokesperson for Tim Hortons said the Beyond Meat items, which were introduced just three months ago, were a limited time offer and will be available across the country while supplies last.

“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,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“Like any limited time offer, we may explore offering the product again in other provinces at a future date based on ongoing guest feedback.”

Tim Hortons added two Beyond Meat Burgers – both selling for $5.69 – to its lunch menu in July, one month after launching three types of Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches.

The decision to remove the plant-based offerings from locations in most Canadian provinces comes at a time when food retailers are eagerly jumping on the plant-based protein bandwagon.

Subway announced last month that it will be testing Beyond Meatball Marinara subs at 685 locations in Canada and the U.S. KFC is also testing a “Beyond Fried Chicken” item at a location in Atlanta.

Still, it appears Beyond Meat is not for everyone.

Tim Hortons, which is owned by parent company Restaurant Brands International (QSR), has been tweaking its menu over the last several months as part of an effort to increase brand excitement and traffic at franchises across the chain.

RBI chief executive Jose Cil said in the company’s quarterly conference call in August that the company has been rethinking how to use product to drive sales at Tim Hortons.

“We looked at the Beyond Meat Burger as a kind of limited time offer to see how it would react and we’re encouraged by some of the behaviour there,” Cil said.

“But in the end, we’re really a coffee and baked goods business with very strong sandwich offerings with soup and other products that are natural to our restaurants.”

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