If New York City’s East Village neighborhood were a cupcake, what flavor do you think it would it be? Cappuccino, of course, according to McDonald’s.
On its McCafé menu in Germany, McDonald’s continues its fascination with the Big Apple by adding a line of cupcakes representing various parts of New York City. “The New Cupcakes. Taste it. Love it” McDonald’s declares on its Web site in a mix of German and English (below). The cupcakes are offered in four varieties:
● East Village = Cappuccino. This neighborhood is full of artists and tourists looking for art galleries, McDonald’s explains on its German Web site. It features a disheveled young bohemian/hipster as the personality of the East Village. A coffee bean sits atop the cupcake.
● Chelsea = Chocolate. Chelsea once was hip, then it wasn’t, then it was again, McDonald’s explains to Germans. Too fast? “Well, that’s New York.” A young man in Lands End-style jeans and rumpled shirt represents Chelsea.
● Soho = Vanilla. Start at Houston Street for some great sightseeing. This cupcake is like a little piece of Soho to take home. A young woman in jeans and J. Jill-style separates stands for Soho.
● Central Park = Strawberry. All of New York hangs out here, McDonald’s explains. Have a strawberry cupcake and a “personal Central Park moment.” A stylish young black woman represents Central Park.
McDonald’s McCafé menu in Germany is more extensive than here, including coffees, bagel sandwiches, pastries (from brownies and cookies to tiramisu and more), frappes, iced drinks, bottled water and bottled smoothies. The cupcakes’ calorie counts range from 273 for strawberry to 325 for vanilla.
The cupcakes are just the latest example of how McDonald’s operations around the world use the aura and popularity of American cities, and especially New York, to make new products distinctive and hip. In Spain, the NYCrispy burger is a limited-time sandwich that is so popular it has stayed on the menu. Last month, McDonald’s restaurants in Denmark, Norway and Sweden began selling a New York Supreme burger and in Japan a series of new quarter-pounders began with the New York Burger.
Keep an eye on McCafé in the U.S. this year. Frappes are joining the menu now; smoothies come this summer. In Australia, where McCafé originated, the menu has broadened to include pastries and sweet and savory snack foods, such as light sandwiches. There’s no reason to think McDonald’s doesn’t have similar plans ultimately for McCafé domestically, too.