Monday, January 7, 2008

McDonald's targets Starbucks


Last year I noticed the surprising new addition of "iced coffee" to a menu that had had few drinks aside from the regular sodas sold in every restaurant. McDonald's seems to be trying its hand at new things, and not just due to health concerns in the aftermath of the documentary "Super Size Me."

It'll be interesting to see if McDonald's is actually able to succeed at the cafe business. I will freely admit that it would be difficult to say no to a breakfast menu that included both Egg McMuffins and a tall soy latte:

OLATHE, Kan. -- This fall, a McDonald's here added a position to its crew: barista.

McDonald's is setting out to poach Starbucks customers with the biggest addition to its menu in 30 years. Starting this year, the company's nearly 14,000 U.S. locations will install coffee bars with "baristas" serving cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and the Frappe, similar to Starbucks' ice-blended Frappuccino.

Internal documents from 2007 say the program, which also will add smoothies and bottled beverages, will add $1 billion to McDonald's annual sales of $21.6 billion.

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