Quesada partners with Beyond Meat

The QSR is the latest to tap into the demand for plant-based options, as well as the buzz that Beyond Meat has been generating.

QSR chain Quesada Burritos and Tacos has partnered with buzzy Beyond Meat to become the first national Mexican restaurant chain to offer its products in Canada.

The Beyond Meat Burrito is made with the plant-based food company’s “Fiesty Crumble,” a ground beef replacement made specifically for Tex-Mex, and will be available in 120 Quesada locations beginning Wednesday.

Steve Gill, founder and chief recipe officer at Quesada Burritos and Tacos, said in a release that the partnership is in response to more of the QSR’s customers identifying as “flexitarians” – those who eat meat but are looking to incorporate more plant-based options into their diet.

The launch of the Beyond Meat Burrito will be supported with a campaign referencing how the burritos are “100% delicious,” that they focus on flavour, as well as how Beyond Meat is an option for anyone, not just vegetarians. The campaign – which includes mobile display ads, content on Facebook and Instagram, search and in-store – is being led by Saatchi & Saatchi Toronto, which was named AOR for Quesada in September.

The partnership is not only a move by Quesada to tap into growing consumer appetites for more plant-based options, but also a way for it to become a part of the attention Beyond Meat has received for products that consumers, reviewers and high-profile investors like Bill Gates, Biz Stone and Tyson Foods claim to be indistinguishable from real meat.

Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder and CEO, said the company was “excited to expand [its] Canadian presence by partnering with Quesada,” the second national QSR it has worked with in this market. Last year, A&W announced it would be adding the Beyond Meat burger to its menu, which was sold out for weeks following its launch. Partnering with national QSR chains has greatly increased Beyond Meat’s visibility and availability in the Canadian market, having previously only been available at smaller restaurant chains and specialty grocers.