August 27, 2014 1:10 pm
Updated: August 28, 2014 10:45 am

Tim Hortons tries out giant ‘Buffalo Crunch’ doughnut

Tim Horton's new Buffalo Crunch doughnut is available at the Great New York State Fair for $2.

Tim Hortons

A spicy, yeast-based doughnut drenched in buffalo-style chicken wing sauce and covered in kettle chips. To boot, tortilla strips sit submerged in a pool of buffalo sauce at the centre.

Is this a glimpse into a future menu item at Tim Hortons under the control and ownership of Burger King, which announced this week it was taking Tims over?

Nope – it’s a reality in the here and now.

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Anthony McEachern, a franchisee of three Tim Hortons coffee shops in Syracuse, is featuring the “Buffalo Crunch” doughnut at the Great New York State Fair running between Aug. 21 and Sept. 1 in upstate New York.

The timing of the promotion, as merger talks between Burger King and Tim Hortons gave way to an actual deal, has raised some eyebrows.

Yet both McEachern, a 30-year-old Canadian from Niagara Falls, as well as Tim Hortons corporate officials assured Global News the timing is purely coincidental.

“It’s all current Tim Hortons products that we’ve just had a bit of fun with,” McEachern said.

“This is a donut created by a local owner in the spirit of fun fair food, and is only available during the fair at our local booth,” a Tim Hortons spokesperson in Canada said via email.

“The idea was conceived months ago,” Tims spokeswoman Olga Petrycki said.

Business as usual

Following the Burger King announcement, Tims officials have taken pains to assure customers there won’t be major changes — wary of disrupting what’s already a successful business.

Customers have expressed concerns about a U.S. fast-food burger chain coming in and overhauling the menu among other reservations about the merger.

“Tim Hortons will still be Tim Hortons,” Marc Caira, the Canadian chain’s boss, said on a call with media on Tuesday. “That’s the key point here, it’s business as usual.”

Asked whether there were plans in the works to blend Tim Hortons-branded coffee and food into Burger King’s menu and perhaps vice versa, Caira was clear: “The answer is absolutely not,” he said.

“These are two strong independent businesses that will continue to be run that way.”

MORE: Don’t worry Tim Hortons fans, it’s ‘business as usual’ 

But the Buffalo Crunch, which is being sold for $2 at the fair, has been a hit with customers, McEachern said.

“It’s a shock and awe effect. That’s what we’ve been seeing at the fair,” said the franchisee, who has made a habit in recent years of offering up innovative doughnut mash-ups at the annual event.

“They’re really enjoying it.”

The promotional donut comes in hot or mild. Sorry, no fries. Yet.

Here’s the promo from the fair:



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