2019 Winner

A&W Canada

Beyond Meat


SilverLaunch Strategy

There hadn’t really been a massive need for faux meat. At least not one expressed by fast-food diners. To them, plant-based foods were considered die-hard veggie territory. That was until Beyond Meat came onto the scene. Getting meat reducers to shell out for a patty that “looks, cooks and satisfies like beef” was a battle first fought by Beyond Meat. And then A&W decided to join in. While the QSR didn’t find the white space, it did play a role in helping veggie burgers go mainstream in Canada.
In the summer of 2018, the QSR partnered with the U.S. startup to bring the popular patty to Canada. At the time, A&W wasn’t doing so well on the veggie burger front: only 1 in 100 orders were for its own original plant- based meal. The perception of these burgers was that they were bland and unappealing.
Sometimes new ideas can be met with resistance when the “new thinking” goes against popular opinion. So the trick was to get a positive endorsement from early adopters (vegans, vegetarians and opinion leaders in the food space), who would help accelerate mass adoption. The brand and Rethink hosted a pre-launch event where plant-based food bloggers, chefs and an NHL player got first dibs on the A&W and Beyond Meat meal. They posted the experience on social and the content helped flood news of the patty’s arrival in Canada online.
It then spoke to mainstream consumers, launching a TV spot that showed shocked reactions of vegans and skeptical meat eaters trying the burger for the first time. The approach, which won a Silver Launch Strategy award, led the Beyond Meat Burger to become one of A&W’s most popular menu items. In fact, many A&W stores sold out of the dish just three weeks after its arrival.

Creative Director: Bob Simpson, Chris Staples, Ian Grais
Art Director: Pamela Rounis
Strategist: Darren Yada
Broadcast Producer: Sarah Vingoe, Laura Rioux
Account Services: Chelsea Stoelting, Dan Culic, Lindsay Magrane
Media: Ruth Murray, Daniel Saltalamacchia, Julia Vyse (Vizeum)
Production Company: R&D Productions
Post Production House: Post Pro Media
Audio House: Wave

Client: Tom Newitt, Senior Director of Marketing, Brand Communications
Julia Cutt, Manager, Media and Online Communications
Susan Dong, Manager, Brand Communications

Need help? Contact Clare O'Brien at 1-416-408-2300 x307 or cobrien@brunico.com.