- Tim Hortons plans to scale back Beyond Meat products from its menu at most of its Canadian restaurant locations, reports BNN Bloomberg.
- It will continue to offer Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches in Ontario and British Columbia, where it has received positive feedback. The remaining regions will offer the product only while current supplies last.
- This move comes just a few months after Tim Hortons brought the plant-based product to stores. It launched Beyond Breakfast sandwiches in June, and Beyond Burgers in July. The Beyond Burgers will be available nationwide, but for a limited time.
After plant-based protein alternatives made a blockbuster appearance in the food world, restaurants, diners and retailers alike are starting to delve deeper into claims that products from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are healthier than actual meat.
A number of restaurant chains have been anti-fake meat since the start, including Chipotle, Arby's and Red Lobster, which have all made clear statements that they have no intention of adding plant-based meat substitutes to their menus. Chipotle is against the products because they are highly-processed — Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods burgers contain 18 and 21 ingredients, respectively.
There are also a number of dietitians and physicians raising concerns about consuming these products, noting that plant-based burgers and beef burgers usually have the same amount of saturated fat and are higher in sodium.
As the discussion surrounding the health implications of these products grows, some consumers who were choosing them for health reasons may feel they've been misled, turning them away from Beyond Meat's and Impossible Foods' offerings. And while some may be supporters of plant-based protein for environmental reasons, there are a number of critics starting to chime into the debate, arguing that fossil fuels should be the real target for change and that livestock's impact is being misrepresented by plant-based protein companies.
Despite these findings however, it seems unlikely that demand for plant-based foods will fade anytime soon. Still, it's possible that restaurants could continue to embrace this trend without bringing plant-based meat on to their menus. Taco Bell, for example, recently launched a dedicated vegetarian menu using ingredients that it had already provided. And though McDonald's U.S. is still mulling the idea of a vegan burger, its international divisions have already brought plant-based burgers to market without partnering with a major fake meat company.