Supersize my cup

You can get more coffee for your money now at Tim Hortons - but an extra large now has about 240mg of caffiene, 180 calories and 22g of sugar. (Nathan Paton/AQ)

Tim Hortons has introduced a new, even bigger, 24-ounce extra large cup, which will offer even more coffee for all those coffee lovers.

But not everyone at St. Thomas University is happy about the change.

Because there is a new extra large, the old extra large is now just a large, the old large a medium, the old medium a small, and the old small, a new extra small.

“By shifting the sizes, we’re able to provide coffee lovers with a full range of five size options: from extra small, all the way up to the new extra large,” said Dave McKay, director of brand marketing for beverages, in a Tim Hortons press release.

“In my opinion they are just feeding people more caffeine in one serving,” first-year STU student Paige LeClair said.

“I think the extra small cup is great for kids with hot chocolate and such because when I was little I never finished a small.”

Some people are worried about the nutritional value of supersizing the cups. The new extra large, with one cream and one sugar, contains about 240mg of caffiene, 180 calories and 22g of sugar.

“The cafeteria has done a great job of becoming healthier, but Tim Hortons is not,” said Andrew Secord, head of STU’s economics department.

With the new larger sizes, there is also a question of Americanization. Are the larger cups a reflection of the States’ sizes? Cultural studies professor Scott Stoneman says not necessarily.

It’s not so much of Canada becoming Americanized as Canada being influenced constantly by the States, he said.

“However, there are limits to that argument because of globalization and the fact that corporate control of food goes beyond American food. Tim Hortons is owned by Wendy’s, which is an American company. By upsizing, Tim Hortons will have more money to advertise,” said Stoneman.

Wendy’s share in the company was sold in 2006.

He also pointed out that Tim Hortons is largely a Canadian landscape. Even Canadian troops were trying to get access to a Tim Hortons when overseas. This shows the ideology of the culture of a cup of Tim Hortons coffee.

“To me it’s less of a question of Americanizing, but more of food culture in general or corporate production, which is more about profit. This shows how companies are pushing us to consume more and to increase our addiction. Coffee is about social relations and a norm, but it is also a key to productivity,” he said.

“Upsizing is also trying to upsize the addiction of coffee.”

Although some are concerned about the nutrition values of Tim Hortons, STU spokesman Jeffrey Carleton said this isn’t an issue as it’s part of choice. Students are allowed to use their meal card at Tim’s and in the cafeteria, but it is dependent on the individual’s responsibility and choice to be healthy.

Carleton also doesn’t think the upsizing of cups at Tim Hortons is an example of the “Americanization” of Canada.

“I think this would be driven by a couple of factors. One is the factor of greater revenues for Tim’s. The other is if their plan is to increase franchises in the United States, this would be the actual size that would match up. This is another sign that Tim’s will make a run at the United States market.

“In the United States you have to go for larger sizes. It’s not about being Americanized, but about the North American market,” he said.

The Tim Hortons franchise has been on campus at STU for approximately 15 years. It is a part of the Aramark food services and the franchise fee is paid to Tim Hortons through a system called cost plus contract.

“Tim Hortons on campus reflects a trend that started about 15 years ago…of franchises establishing service outlets on universities. St. Thomas was a trendsetter with Tim Hortons,” said Carleton.

“It was just recently that UNB has Tim Hortons set up in the SUB.”

Since Tim Hortons has arrived on campus, it has been widely popular and has become part of the culture at STU. It has been a great part of our community rather than just a food service, said Carleton.

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  • guest

    "Tim Hortons is owned by Wendy’s, which is an American company. By upsizing, Tim Hortons will have more money to advertise,” said Stoneman.

    Wendy's sold their shares a year after the merger in 05'. http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20060303/tim_hor

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