Well, it's not the gluten-free doughnut or bagel we were hoping for, but it might just hit that sweet spot for some people. On Wednesday, Tim Hortons' Facebook page announced it will now sell gluten-free coconut macaroons.
For anyone with celiac disease or a tendency to lay off gluten, we all know how hard it can be to find gluten-free items at popular coffee shops filled with muffins, sandwiches and doughy pastries. And for Tim Hortons, it's a small foot in the door to a booming gluten-free food industry worth billions of dollars.
The new $1.29 meringue-style cookie with coconut and milk chocolate will be sold in a pre-wrapped two-piece package to avoid cross-contamination. The new menu item has also been certified through the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) Gluten-Free Certification Program.
An estimated one in 133 Canadians is affected with celiac disease — a medical condition where the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten — and gluten is a protein commonly found in wheat, rye and barley.
The Facebook post, with over 2,000 likes and 400 shares, seems to be getting a generally positive response, but some readers are worried about the risk of cross-contamination and want to see more nut-free items, too. As Dorothy Liessegang Miller puts it, "Yeah but I would love way more gluten free options! Like buns for sandwiches and breakfast stuff?"
"Given the growing number of people who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance, we're making it just a little bit easier for friends and families to enjoy eating together at our restaurants," says Donna Finelli, vice president marketing, food and merchandise, Tim Hortons in a statement.
And the coffee chain isn't the only restaurant or fast-food joint trying to fill this niche. Several spots in Canada, including big names in the food industry like Red Lobster, Pizza Pizza, Wendy's, Swiss Chalet and Boston Pizza all offer gluten-free menu items. For a full list of restaurants, click here.
Will you be taste-testing this macaroon? Let us know in the comments below: