The brand is expected to be positioned as a premium product, in
keeping with McDonald's long-held positioning of McCafé in
its restaurants and the test in select markets last year.
McDonald's and Kraft did not respond to questions about which
agency will handle marketing. A spokesman for Kraft said
"integrated marketing support -- including TV, digital, social, PR
and sampling" is expected. A McDonald's spokesman also said there
would be an integrated campaign but that it's too soon to discuss
Varieties of the McCafé packaged coffee will include
Premium Roast, Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Colombian, Premium
Roast Decaf, French Vanilla, Hazelnut and French Roast Whole Bean.
Single-serve will include Premium Roast, French Roast and Premium
The chain originally rolled out McCafé in 2009 with a
massive marketing push for coffee and espresso drinks. It has since
rolled out seasonal drinks from time to time, along with smoothies
The move comes at a time when McDonald's is struggling to
reverse a sales slump. Last year, the chain said among its main
areas of concentration for 2014 would be coffee and improving
operations and the customer experience.
McDonald's U.S. Chief Brand and Strategy Officer Kevin Newell
said late last year that selling bagged
coffee outside its restaurants would create "greater awareness and
sell more coffee in our restaurants." At the time, he noted that
more than 70% of coffee consumption in the U.S. happens at home. He
said the retail test "highlights how serious we are about elevating
McCafé brand potential."
McDonald's is coming a bit late to the game in grocery stores,
where Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have long offered their bagged
Kraft was previously in a distribution deal with Starbucks for
grocery-store sales. That relationship soured in early 2011 after
Starbucks complained that Kraft failed to effectively market the
product, later resulting in a split. Starbucks late last year
was ordered to pay Kraft $2.7
billion for "improper termination" of the deal. Kraft got back into
the premium coffee market later in 2011 with a deal to sell Gevalia
coffee in supermarkets.
"In a competitive category that is growing rapidly and changing
every day, this new partnership with McDonald's represents a whole
new era in the world of at-home premium coffee," said Nina Barton,
vice president of coffee for Kraft Foods, in a statement. "By
tapping into the loyal McCafé fan base already built by
McDonald's and leveraging our deep coffee category expertise here
at Kraft, we have the ability to reach a larger audience than ever
before, really giving this brand room to thrive."
Contributing: E.J. Schultz