One of the most high-profile companies in the fast-growing business of plant-based meat alternatives has struck a deal with one of Canada’s biggest coffee chains to sell meat-free breakfast sandwiches across the country.
Tim Hortons announced Wednesday that starting immediately, the chain’s 4,000 locations across Canada are offering breakfast sandwiches made with Beyond Meat patties, a plant-based meat alternative whose popularity seems to be soaring.
Last summer, Beyond Meat struck a deal with burger chain A&W to offer their products in the chain’s quick-service restaurants, and demand for the product soon overwhelmed supply.
Wednesday’s news makes Tim Hortons the second national fast-food restaurant to offer the product in Canada, although the hamburger version of the product did recently become available for home consumption when they hit grocery stores last month.
“We’ve listened to our guests and are excited to be able to offer three delicious breakfast sandwiches that vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and meat lovers can feel good about,” Tim Hortons’ chief operations officer Mike Hancock said.
‘Protein-packed’ The chain will offer three varieties of the Beyond Meat patty, including in an English muffin with egg and cheese, in a tortilla wrap with egg, cheese and other ingredients, or in a 100 per cent vegan form on a baked biscuit with lettuce and tomato.
“We’re excited to introduce the Beyond Breakfast Sausage patty at Tim Hortons as a protein-packed breakfast solution,” Beyond Meat founder and chief executive Ethan Brown said.
“For busy Canadians on the go, our Beyond Breakfast Sausage not only tastes great, but comes with the added environmental benefits of plant-based protein.
Beyond Meat is one of the biggest players in the growing industry of meat alternatives, which cater to a younger generation of eaters who are eschewing conventional meats in favour of plant-based alternatives.
Plant-based eating going mainstream Many other companies are also in the space, including Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods which recently pledged $300 million to build a factory in Indiana that will make plant-based meat alternatives.
Estimates suggest the market for such products has doubled in the last few years and is showing no signs of slowing down. But that explosion of popularity has also started to draw some criticism.
While the companies pitch it as a healthy alternative, the Beyond Meat burger at A&W contains more fat than the chain’s regular bacon cheeseburger — 29 grams compared to 26 .
Beyond Meat recently went public on the stock market , and the company’s shares have been on a tear ever since, having more than quintupled in value in their first month.