"There shall be no acceptable substitute," according to the tender issued Monday. "Tim Hortons has been determined by MARLANT" — the navy's Maritime Forces Atlantic command — "as the product of choice based on expressed customer taste and preferences for boosting morale in Afghanistan, Sudan and Sierra Leone."
Sailors also want it on their ships, the tender documents state.
Jeri Grychowski, a spokeswoman for Canada's Atlantic fleet, said the tender is for a three-year period. The navy's current supply agreement expires at the end of the month.
Grychowski said the navy has spent $405,000 on Tim Hortons coffee over the last three years.
"This is not the first time we have done this. It is not sole-sourced," she said. "This is a tender: It is open to anyone who wholesales Tim Hortons coffee."
With 7,500 uniformed and civilian employees in Metro Halifax, Maritime Forces Atlantic is a market any company would want.
Don Shiner, a marketing professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, said this kind of order is the reward when a brand completely dominates its competition.
"It shows you the power of the brand is firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of the military," Shiner told CBC News. "It shows the power of branding over time."
Tim Hortons has several coffee shops on Canadian military bases. The company recently opened a restaurant inside Fort Knox, the U.S. army facility in Kentucky.