Beyond Meat surges after coffee chain Tim Hortons adds vegan sausages to menu

(Reuters) - Shares of Beyond Meat rose as much as 16% on Wednesday after Canada’s Restaurant Brands International Inc’s coffee chain Tim Hortons said it will introduce three new sandwiches using the vegan burger marker’s plant-based sausages

A giant digital display shows Beyond Meat (BYND) listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange during the company's IPO at the NASDAQ Market Site in Times Square in New York City, New York, U.S., May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Tim Hortons will test the breakfast sandwiches in select restaurants across Canada as demand for vegan alternatives grows in the country.

“Canadians are looking to incorporate plant-based options into their diets and we’re thrilled to partner with Beyond Meat,” Tim Hortons President Alex Macedo said.

As plant-based substitutes gain popularity, with more people opting for vegan or vegetarian diets, Beyond Meat and rival Impossible Foods are fighting for market share by launching new products at fast-food restaurants in North America.

On Tuesday, Restaurants Brand’s Burger King said it will sell Impossible Food’s patty in its Whopper sandwich at three new markets.

Del Taco has been using Beyond Meat’s plant-based crumbles in its vegan tacos, while Carl Jr sells Beyond Meat’s patties in its cheeseburgers.

Beyond Meat also sells its products in supermarkets and at Inc’s Whole Foods Market. It will soon introduce its burgers in German discount supermarket chain Lidl during a trial period starting May 29.

“We very much look forward to seeing the response to our campaign,” Lidl said in a statement.

Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat’s shares have nearly doubled since their debut on the Nasdaq earlier this month, taking the company’s market capitalization to $5.35 billion at a high of $91.80.

At least 43 percent of Beyond Meat’s outstanding shares are held by short sellers, according to analytics firm S3 Partners.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli