Fans of Tim Hortons' coffee and snacks will soon have 300 new outlets to buy them. The group earlier this week unveiled an agreement with Imperial Oil to set up food kiosks at Esso's "On the Run" service stations over the next three years.

Eighteen kiosks have already been set up as part of a pilot project, and the initial results have prompted the announced expansion. Part of Wendy's International, Tim Hortons has recently been seen under pressure to innovate after it emerged that US rival Krispy Kreme was launching its Canadian campaign.

For its part, Imperial Oil is keen to give drivers additional reasons to stop at its gas stations. The oil industry is keen to gain additional revenue as the squeezed profit margins from retail petrol (gasoline) slip

The agreement with Hortons is mutually exclusive - neither party may strike a similar deal with each other's rivals.

Most of the current petrol/food agreements are based on major Canadian highways, but under the new arrangement kiosks will spring up at petrol stations in major towns, in a bid to attract lunch-time trade and weekend sales.