June 18, 2009

McCafe push will continue, McDonald’s says

McDonald's Corp. said it would continue a massive McCafe marketing campaign that has helped push it to No. 2 in a survey of U.S. coffee drinkers.

A BIGResearch survey of 8,000 consumers in May ranked McDonald's in front of Dunkin' Donuts, but behind Starbucks as the coffee house most U.S. consumers turn to for a cup of Joe.

In a separate survey, 6,000 consumers indicated Starbucks was their favorite brand, dislodging Dunkin' Donuts from the No. 1 spot.

We've obviously had some kind of competitive onslaught from McDonald's and Starbucks, said Dunkin' Brands Inc. Chief Executive Officer Nigel Travis. But we seem to be withstanding that well, he told The Boston Globe Thursday.

Food industry consultant Dennis Lombardi at WD Partners said McDonald's was like a 9,000-pound gorilla, putting on a very strong push to build share with its McCafe brand.

Travis said, McDonald's, "can't promote coffee forever because they've got lots of other products to focus on.'

But McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said the company would keep the campaign going strong through the summer.

Coffee continues to be a significant opportunity for McDonald's,'' Proud said. We will continue to see a heavy promotion of our new McCafe through the summer.''