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Starbucks to launch plant-based Beyond Meat sandwich in Canada

Announcement comes after Disney adds Impossible Burgers to menu at resorts and theme parks

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By Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch


Starbucks
Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer said in recent weeks that a plant-based sandwich would be coming to the U.S. and Canada.

Starbucks Corp. announced early Wednesday that it will add a plant-based Beyond Meat Inc. sandwich to the menu in Canada starting March 3.

The Beyond Meat, Cheddar and Egg Sandwich will be part of the spring additions. Starbucks /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -0.49%   said it worked with Beyond Meat /zigman2/quotes/211617595/composite BYND +5.90%   to come up with a patty flavored with rosemary, fennel and other herbs and spices.

The launch comes just weeks after Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer said on the coffee company’s first-quarter earnings call that a plant-based breakfast sandwich would be coming to both Canada and the U.S.

Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson also previously said the company would add plant-based menu options as part of its sustainability commitment.

Read: Can Starbucks save the planet by cutting dairy? Activists and investors respond

McDonald’s Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD +2.55%    has been testing a plant-based PLT — plant, lettuce, tomato — in Canada. Experts and analysts say the fast-food giant is a “fast follower” that takes time before adding items or changing its menu.

Starbucks’ coffee competitor Dunkin Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200947441/composite DNKN +0.81%   added the Beyond Sausage sandwich to its menu in November and said the launch has had sustained success. Moreover, because the sandwich is ordered with higher-priced coffee items, the average check with a Beyond Sausage sandwich is “north of $9.”

The average ticket at Dunkin is around $5.

See: Dunkin’s average ticket nearly doubles when customers add Beyond Meat sandwich

On the other hand, Burger King saw sales of its plant-based Impossible Whopper decelerate in the fourth quarter, with executives citing a “premium price point” as a challenge for its customers.

Burger King is part of the Restaurant Brands International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202094900/composite QSR +2.66%   portfolio that also includes Popeyes. The Impossible Whopper is made with Impossible Foods’ plant-based patty.

Read: Burger King’s plant-based Impossible Whopper saw sales growth decelerate in the fourth quarter

Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +0.81%   announced on Tuesday that the Impossible Burger has been named the “preferred plant-based burger” of the company’s theme parks, cruises and resorts. Items like the Petite Impossible Burger, made with guacamole, and the Impossible Meatball Submarine sandwich will debut at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival on Feb. 28.

Starbucks stock has slipped 4.6% over the past three months, but is up 13.4% over the past year. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.36%   has gained 11.5% over the last 12 months.

Don’t miss: Starbucks would’ve raised its guidance if not for the coronavirus

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Tonya Garcia is a MarketWatch reporter covering retail and consumer-oriented companies. You can follow her on Twitter @tgarcianyc. She is based in New York.

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