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December 6, 2017

McDonalds taps into coffee culture in the US

By David Reimus

Americans will soon be able to grab their favourite McCafé frappé from their local grocery store. Last week McDonalds announced plans to team up with Coca-Cola to bring ready-to-drink versions of the iced McCafé range to shops across America.

Available from early 2018, the McCafé frappé range will offer consumers three flavour options – caramel, vanilla and mocha. The McCafé frappé range will be produced, distributed and marketed by Coca-Cola.  It is thought that by introducing the bottled McCafé iced coffee range, McDonalds aims to keep up with rival brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, which also offer bottled iced coffee in the beverage aisle.

Coffee, including iced coffee, is serious business in America. Iced coffee in the US has seen continuous year-on-year growth in since 2009 and is expected to continue to grow in 2017 and beyond, according to Global Data reports.

The news of the Coca-Cola partnership coincides with a revamp of the in-store McDonalds coffee menu as the fast food giant recently unveiled a new McCafé espresso menu in America.

The new range is based on a shot or two of freshly ground espresso and includes options such as macchiatos, cappuccinos and Americanos that claim to be café quality. The new menu certainly reads like a coffee shop, something those behind the golden arches have capitalised on by refreshing the McCafé brand with a new logo and packaging that will change with the seasons, a signature feature of several coffee shop chains.

To kick off the new McCafé espresso line, McDonalds is offering any small McCafé coffee for just $2, undercutting virtually every other commercial coffee shop.

In the UK, the McCafé range has been advertised as no-fuss good coffee at a good price with current adverts ridiculing the cost and pretention of trendy coffee shops, while in America a slightly different approach is being taken.

The UK McCafé range is being marketed on its difference to coffee shop culture of high prices and complex orders, while the US McCafé range appears to be positioned somewhere between the two, offering the range of a coffee shop with a McDonalds price tag. By taking this middle ground the new McCafé espresso range has the high street coffee giants of America firmly in its sights.

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