McCafé Off To Strong Start

 

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp. executives said on Wednesday that the company’s rollout of its new McCafé coffee line is off to good start, and it anticipates data on its market share impact to be available in about six months, according to Reuters.

 

Around 11,000 of McDonald’s roughly 14,000 U.S. locations now have or will have the McCafé coffee stations.

 

“Things are going very, very well….Coffee movement has been good. It’s exceeded our expectations,” Don Thompson, president of McDonald’s USA, told reporters in a press conference following its annual shareholders meeting.

 

McDonald’s has said it expects its new beverages, including coffee, cappuccino, water and sports drinks, to eventually add $1 billion to annual sales. As it drives its bottled beverages, the company will likely focus on plain and flavored waters and sports drinks rather than energy drinks and carbonated beverages, Reuters reported.

 

“The jury is still is still out relative to energy-based drinks,” said Thompson, who added that frappes and smoothies could be in stores by the end of 2010.

 

“We’re going to be doing some additional consumer measures and we’ll get a chance to see what market share looks like, but that will probably be another six months down the road,” Thompson said about the impact of the company’s coffee campaign.

 

Many analysts view McDonald’s McCafé expansion as a direct attack on cafe chain Starbucks Corp., which has lowered prices in some markets where competition has intensified, Reuters reported.

 

McDonald’s also is rolling out McCafé stations in overseas restaurants, including in more than 1,100 European outlets.

 

 

 

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