The Canadian Press
REGINA–Some people have a beef about an A&W ad featuring Saskatchewan Roughrider fans that promotes the Beyond Meat burger.
During the commercial the fans taste-test the vegetable-based product outside Mosaic Stadium in Regina and offer their opinions.
Some people are angry and claim the Roughriders were helping to promote a product that could hurt the beef industry.
The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association invited the Roughriders to a meeting to discuss its concerns.
Chad MacPherson, general manager of the association, says the team’s brand is pretty synonymous with Saskatchewan and the ad is being used to promote a product that many perceive as being critical of beef production.
The team says it had nothing to do with the ad, but notes that A&W is a national restaurant chain and a corporate partner of the Roughriders, so it had permission to film outside Mosaic Stadium in July.
“We want to assure your members, and all of Rider nation, that the advertisement does not represent any reduction of support by the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club to specific beef or agricultural industries in our great province of Saskatchewan,” said Anthony Partipilo, chief brand officer of the CFL football club in a letter to MacPherson.
“We met A&W last week to raise our concern about the ad content and they assured us that the intent of the ad is not to convince people to stop eating beef or switch away from beef.”
Partipilo noted that A&W’s next campaign will feature a 100 percent Canadian “Prairie-Raised” bison burger.
Apparently, Beyond Meat burgers also don’t go that well with Tim Hortons coffee.
The chain has said that it’s dropping the alternative protein products at thousands of Canadian locations, just three months after introducing them.
Beyond Burgers are being taken off menus nationally, while Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches will be removed from all locations except in B.C. and Ontario.
The company announced in June that the products would be rolled out in all of its almost 4,000 Tim Hortons restaurants nationwide and, in July, it announced it would offer Beyond Burgers as well.