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McDonalds Makes a Play in the Coffee War

 
McDonalds Makes a Play in the Coffee War
Posted Friday, January 31st 2014 @ 5am  by KTRH’s Nikki Courtney

When you think of grabbing a cup of coffee, McDonald’s may not be the first thing you think of.

They are hoping to change that.

McDonald’s has a “gold standard” cup of coffee waiting for you. Bloomberg Businessweek says McDonald’s management sent franchise owners a memo stating that in 2014-2016 increasing “coffee-driven” visits will be a high priority, and said in a webcast to owners that they intend to become the envy of their rivals.

They’ll have to get past Starbucks to do that.

Houston food writer Amber Ambrose doesn’t think McDonald’s will succeed. “You know, they’ve tried to rebrand so many times, but I still think their image is of a classic fast-food hamburger joint.”

Starbucks sells 10,465,000 cups of coffee in North America every day. Americans spend an average of $1,092 a year on coffee. When you break down the demographics, millennials – Starbuck’s prime target, spend $1,287.52 a year. People over the age of 45 spend $767.52. Just like the television series “Friends” about a group of twenty-somethings hanging out at a coffee shop, Starbucks has become a go-to social destination for a generation.

“It’s awesome to have a local coffee shop. In the Loop there’s plenty but once you get out of the Loop there’s not a lot. So Starbucks fills that niche as a local coffee shop,” says Ambrose.

McDonald’s introduced the McCafe concept five years ago, and so far it hasn’t been much of a success. They have tried painting McDonald’s interiors in earth-tones and adding free wi-fi in an attempt to create the Starbucks atmosphere.

Time will tell if their new push offering white-chocolate-mocha-flavored-lattes will make a difference.

 

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