There’s no doubt that consumers are more likely to buy something based on the popularity of a brand. Air Jordans will always beat Starburys. That is if they even still make Starburys. Coke will always beat RC Cola. It’s difficult to compete with name recognition. Such has been the case with Starbucks. People love the place so much that no one even seems to bat an eye over the price. Well, McDonald’s begs to differ.
The company started McCafe almost a decade ago in hopes of challenging Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks and has decided to start over and completely reinvent itself in the new year by focusing on sustainable beans and a price point their competitors can’t compete with. Basically they’re attacking Starbucks’ strength (single origin coffee), attacking their weakness (price), while seeming to go all in on another weakness which customers love (too much sugar).
“We’re really excited about the McCafe brand and what it can do to complement our food offerings,” Kristy Cunningham, U.S. senior vice president of strategy and insights told Bloomberg.
Part of the new McCafe will include $1 drip coffee (as opposed to $2 dollars at Starbucks) and only $2 for specialty coffees like a Latte, Peppermint Mocha, or Frappe. Will there be sugar caramels and sauces on top? You’d better f*cking believe it.
The revamp includes adding $12,000 espresso machines to many of their restaurants. That might seem like a lot of cash to compete with Starbucks, but that’s the price of high-quality coffee. The difference is that McDonald’s doesn’t want to hit you in the wallet the way the other top brands might. They’re willing to spend more money to ensure that you don’t have to.
Nobody thinks McDonald’s will become the 2016 version of “Central Perk”. The company will always be known more for McNuggets than macchiatos. They’re just hoping consumers will give their coffee a try. They think you might actually like it. At the worst, you only spend $1 for a coffee that ends up getting cold in your car’s cup holder.
If that’s not enough, they have all day breakfast now. You have to wash down your McGriddle with something and it might as well be a reasonably-priced sustainable sourced coffee. Will it be a major move in the fast food wars? Time will tell!