Well, well. McDonald’s will begin selling bagged ground coffee under the McCafé brand at the majority its 1,400 restaurants in Canada beginning g Nov. 8. This comes just weeks after BurgerBusiness.com’s exclusive report that McDonald’s had trademarked its name for ground/whole-bean coffee. Our inquiry to McDonald’s was dismissed with, “We register a lot of trademarks. That’s nothing new for us.” Well, this is new, and it puts McDonald’s into the arena with Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons and other coffee-and-food purveyors.
McDonald’s Canadian sales intentions were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to a subsequent AP report, the coffee will be sold at McCafé counters in 340-gram packages (roughly 12 ounces) for CAN $7 (US $7.03). Asked whether the coffee program will be extended to its 14,000 U.S. restaurants, John Betts, president of McDonald’s Canada, said, “As we evolve and as our customers ask us for more options, who knows? If we continue to grow the category, anything’s possible.” Translated, that means that if ground coffee sells decently in Canada, of course it will become available in the U.S.
As previously reported, coffee represents about 6% of McDonald’s U.S. sales, making it a $2 billion-plus category. Coffee sales have increased since the chain introduced its Premium Roast drip coffee in 2006. The following year it added iced coffees to its McCafé line and in 2009 it added espresso-based coffees systemwide.