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McDonald's May Sell Bagged Coffee Soon

McDonald's May Sell Bagged Coffee Soon


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Look out, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks — Mickey D's is coming for your coffee-loving crowds

Looks like McDonald's wants a bite out of Dunkin' Donuts' and Starbucks' piece of the pie — new reports show that McDonald's filed a trademark for its own brand whole-bean and ground coffee, sparking new rumors that it will soon sell packaged coffee in stores.

The claim was filed Sept. 18, reports NASDAQ, but so far, no one has confirmed what McDonald's plans to do with it. Said spokesman Danya Proud to NASDAQ, "As you know, we are always looking at new and exciting ways to remain relevant to our customers and be where they need us to be... [But] we register a lot of trademarks. That's nothing new for us."

It may be no surprise that McDonald's wants in on the game, considering how well Dunkin' Donuts' line of coffee sells in stores and supermarkets. The packaged coffee industry is worth about $5.6 billion, and 56 percent of Americans reported that they bought coffee in the supermarket in 2011. (So much for all those coffee runs, guys.) However, NASDAQ notes that the company may have filed a claim simply to keep competitors from selling the same coffee in stores. Will we be seeing the Golden Arches next to our Dunkin' and Starbucks brands on shelves? Time will tell.


The Whole McDonald's Coffee Menu, Ranked

When it comes to coffee, you have a lot of options (duh). And while you may be the kind of gal who turns to Starbucks (or Dunkin') (or Tim Horton's) (or wherever) without fail, McDonald's is often overlooked as one of your go-to options. McDonald's McCafé coffee not only comes in so many forms, but it also is absolutely up there as one of the best quick-service caffeine stops around&mdashI'd be remiss if I also didn't mention that it's some of the best-priced coffee out there, too. So, sure, yes, keep at it with your PSLs and Frapps and Coolattas and such, but don't forget about McD's coffee when it comes to your mornings.

Oh! And by the way, here they all are! Ranked from worst to best. From someone who drinks a lot of coffee. Like, a lot. Enjoy!

Despite the fact that this frappé is loaded with sugar (whipped cream! Chocolate drizzle!), its sweetness leaves something to be desired. I consulted with someone very well-versed in absurdly sweet iced coffee drinks (a man who drinks a Venti Mocha Frapp weekly, tbh) and he said he would never with this drink.


McDonald’s to sell packaged McCafe coffee in grocery stores

Move over, Starbucks. McDonald’s is putting its packaged McCafe coffee in grocery stores next year.

With the help of Kraft Foods, the hamburger giant will roll out bags of ground and whole-bean coffee, as well as single-cup pods, to compete with fast-food chains including Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks that sell packaged coffee at retail locations.

Hoping to tap into the $11-billion-plus U.S. retail coffee market, McDonald’s and Kraft started testing the bagged coffee at a few supermarkets earlier this year.

“We understand there is huge demand for at-home options, and we’ve built great success with our McCafe coffee in restaurants,” said Greg Watson, senior vice president, McDonald’s U.S. Menu Innovation.

McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Ill., has been amping up its coffee offerings since introducing its McCafe brand in 2009. The fast-food chain introduced popular specialty drinks such as Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Frappes and Caramel Mochas.

McDonald’s said last year that its coffee sales had risen 70% since the McCafe launch.

Packaged in 12-ounce bags, McCafe will be offered ground in premium roast, breakfast blend, French roast, Colombian, premium roast decaf and French vanilla and hazelnut plus a French roast whole bean. The chain did not disclose pricing.


THE CONTENDERS

Best of this category: Maxwell House is the best flavor of the bunch, and still extremely affordable
Runner-up: Cafe Bustelo, which comes in, in its vacuum-pack form, as the cheapest option—just don&apost expect it to stand up to the microwave.

Folger’s
House Blend
Price/lb: $6.20
Price/unit: $3.99 for a 10.3-ounce tub

It feels disingenuous to make pour-over coffee with Folger’s from a plastic tub, but I have done it, and the results are quite drinkable. Canned coffee has a heftiness to it that only the darkest-roast bagged coffee achieves, and often at the expense of flavor. Folger’s is dark enough to mask distracting flavors, thin enough not to coat the esophagus with silty grounds, and so, so cheap. The label estimates it contains 60 servings—I make my coffee fairly strong, so I might not quite hit 60, but I bet it𠆝 last me two weeks or so, which at $8 a month is cheaper than Netflix. Much like deli coffee, Folger’s has a flavor that depends greatly on proper drinking temperature—it is punishing when tepid. A microwave brings it almost back to where it needs to be, almost, but with such a large tub there’s no reason not to fix yourself another pour-over.

Maxwell House
Original
Price/lb: $5.83
Price/unit: $4.19 for an 11.5-ounce can

My parents drank Hazelnut Maxwell House for as long as I can remember, and used the empty metal canisters to store Ajax sponges and toolshed sundries. As a result I’ve always had a soft spot for canned coffee, and Maxwell House in particular, but of the canned coffees I tasted, it’s the best. Maxwell House is thoroughly uncomplicated, and it’s a difficult coffee to describe with much specificity. It is a perfectly reasonable (and quite cheap) starter coffee—that is, a coffee to start the day with𠅊nd one that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for affordability. It turns a bit as it cools, taking on a bitter aftertaste, but a quick drinker with a small mug should get by OK. A single caveat: Don’t microwave Maxwell House and expect to enjoy what comes out it tastes unmistakably like airplane coffee, which in the grand hierarchy of complimentary coffee ranks just below single-serving hotel room coffee. For the price, even a coffee Scrooge like me would say you ought to just make a new pot.

Chock Full o’ Nuts
New York Roast
Price/lb: $8.82
Price/unit: $5.79 for a 10.5-ounce can

Chock Full o’ Nuts styles itself as the quintessential New York City coffee. The quintessential New York City Coffee has less to do with brand than with point of sale𠅊 nameless coffee cart on a Manhattan corner𠅋ut it is the only coffee brand I know of to offer three distinct varieties of half-caf. Its per-pound cost approaches bagged coffee, making it a questionable deal among canned brands. Chock Full o’ Nuts has the teeth-sticking effect of good chicory coffee without, I believe, containing chicory. Its flavor has a tinge of burnt bread and an aftertaste that causes the corners of my mouth to turn down involuntarily. It is undrinkable cold, but do not attempt to drink reheated Chock Full o’ Nuts. This is the fire extinguisher of coffees—in the event of catastrophe you’ll be glad you have it, but it’s not for blowing out a candle.

Café du Monde
Coffee and Chicory
Price/lb: $10.66
Price/unit: $9.99 for a 15-ounce can

Café du Monde, like Chock Full o’ Nuts, is as much a stylistic choice as a gastronomic one, and both require a deep well of cultural identification to stomach on a regular basis. Chicory has historically been used as a coffee substitute as well as a flavoring agent, and chicory coffee in the US is closely associated with New Orleans coffee culture. Café du Monde is named for an actual coffee stand in New Orleans that has been in operation since the 1860s, and may be the best-known domestic producer of chicory coffee, if not the only one. The iconic marigold can includes a recipe for café au lait, the traditional chicory coffee drink sold at the IRL Café du Monde given the parameters of this coffee taste-test, and the practical concerns of an at-home coffee drinker without the ability or desire to boil milk every morning just to stomach their coffee, I drank it black. This may have been a mistake. The flavor of chicory is interesting, and even initially enjoyable, but the romance was gone for me after about two minutes. I had a similar physical reaction to Chock Full o’ Nuts, my face contorting involuntarily into what I feel compelled to call a Chicory Frown. This worsened as it cooled, but cold black chicory coffee is nothing compared to microwaved chicory coffee. After a single sip I poured it out in the sink. Chicory has its devotees, but I fear the taste is not one I can acquire.

Café Bustelo
Price/lb: $6.38 ($5.58 per pound of vacuum pack)
Price/unit: $3.99 for a 10-ounce can ($3.49 for a 10-ounce vacuum pack)

Café Bustelo is technically the cheapest coffee on this list because it’s sold in both a can and a vacuum-packed brick, but in a can it’s only third-cheapest, after Maxwell House and Folger’s. Unlike the other coffees under consideration, Café Bustelo is espresso ground, which is much finer than drip ground. This, in addition to the dark roast of the coffee beans, makes it a robust sipping coffee. I double-filtered my pour-over to avoid too much coffee silt, but the flavor was undiminished. It tastes like any other coffee made with double the grounds, and is complexly awful reheated. Café Bustelo is truly motor oil coffee, which is not necessarily a mark against it—it’s likely to burn a hole through even the most memorable hangover, and will propel you forcefully into the next two to three hours of your life. This is not for the faint of heart (seriously, I’m having palpitations as I type this) but ultimately is quite drinkable.


McDonald’s Will Sell Bags Of Its Coffee Soon (And Then If It’s Too Hot, It’s Your Fault)

Thanks for visiting Consumerist.com. As of October 2017, Consumerist is no longer producing new content, but feel free to browse through our archives. Here you can find 12 years worth of articles on everything from how to avoid dodgy scams to writing an effective complaint letter. Check out some of our greatest hits below, explore the categories listed on the left-hand side of the page, or head to CR.org for ratings, reviews, and consumer news.

McDonald’s Will Sell Bags Of Its Coffee Soon (And Then If It’s Too Hot, It’s Your Fault)

McDonald’s is spreading the news to media outlets far and wide, which includes the Associated Press, that it’s going to test selling a bunch of its packaged ground and whole-bean coffee varieties starting next year.

The bags will be sold at supermarkets and other retail outlets in 2014, which may or may not include actual McDonald’s restaurants. It’ll also test single-cup servings, likely something that would fit a Keurig or other solo serving brewers/

The company didn’t say exactly when or where the coffee will start showing up for how much, but last year it debuted 12-ounce bags of McCafe coffee in Canada which sell for around $7.

Keep yours eyes peeled in 2014, folks, and drop us a line if you start seeing Mickey D’s coffee popping up at stores.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.


McDonald's Is Giving Away a Free McFlurry to Anyone Who 'Thought the Spoon Was a Straw'

Okay, but why does the spoon look like a straw? McDonald's answered that, too.

Just because something looks like a duck doesn&apost mean it&aposs a duck. As the old saying goes, it also has to swim like a duck and quack like a duck. So, yes, that thing McDonald&aposs shoves into a McFlurry may look like a straw (albeit an unusual one with a square top), but as many customers have found out the hard way, it doesn&apost suck like a straw—which is usually around the time they realize it&aposs actually a spoon.

Confusion surrounding the McFlurry spoon&aposs bizarre shape is almost as old as the spoon itself: According to Google Trends, searches for "Why does the McFlurry spoon look like a straw?" have peaked on several occasions: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020. Apparently, it&aposs a lesson society-at-large has never entirely learned. So now, McDonald&aposs itself is intervening𠅊nd offering a free McFlurry to help lock the answer into everyone&aposs memory.

To promote the May 3 launch their Caramel Brownie McFlurry, on May 4, McDonald&aposs says they will be giving one of these new McFlurrys away for free to "everyone who has ever even thought the spoon was a straw. so yeah, everyone." To redeem your free regular size Caramel Brownie McFlurry "simply scan the offer code in McDonald&aposs App" and then grab the frozen treat at your local, participating McDonalds, no purchase necessary. As a side deal, customers can also get one for free from May 3 to 9 with a minimum $15 purchase on McDelivery with Uber Eats.

That may all sound great, but it still doesn&apost answer the big question: Why does the McFlurry spoon look like a straw? For that, McDonald&aposs has released a 41-second YouTube video with visual evidence of the answer. "The hollow opening on top of the McFlurry spoon serves a very important purpose!" McDonald&aposs told me via email. "After adding our creamy, cool soft-serve and delicious toppings to your McFlurry cup, our crew members attach the spoon to a machine that mixes the creamy vanilla soft serve and yummy ingredients together, ensuring there is a perfect amount of your favorite topping in each bite." To put it another way, before your spoon is a spoon, it&aposs a blending device.

It&aposs actually pretty ingenious: If not for the disposable spoon attachment, the mixing device would have to be cleaned after every use but thanks to the detachable spoon, the "mess" stays with the spoon (which customers would need anyway) and leaves the store as part of your McFlurry that will inevitably be licked clean. "The McFlurry spoon was invented by an employee at one of McDonald&aposs suppliers, Flurry International, in 1995," McDonald&aposs explains. "Since then, the McFlurry spoon design has been an iconic part of the dessert&aposs experience!"

Of course, that begs the question, if the spoon already looks like a straw, and is hollow like a straw, why not make the "spoon" open at both ends so it can double as a straw? I asked McDonald&aposs if this is something they&aposve considered: "We think our creamy McFlurry is best enjoyed with a spoon. Some of the McFlurry toppings are too large and might pose a safety risk with a straw."


Frappe beats Frappuccino on taste and price

Estimates from Fast Food Menu Prices indicate that the Frappe remains a better deal than the Frappuccino. A mocha, caramel, or chocolate chip Frappe ranges in price from $2.39 for a small to $3.39 for a large. Meanwhile, at Starbucks, a mocha, caramel, or strawberries-and-creme Frappuccino runs you anywhere from $3.75 to $4.95, depending on size. But to say McDonald's Frappe is like Starbucks' Frappuccino, only cheaper, then the Frappe needs to hold its own in taste tests. Perhaps surprisingly, the Frappe does just that.

Even a devoted Starbucks loyalist at Gigi Reviews had to give McDonald's points for its Frappe in 2010. The consistency was smoother and better than the Starbucks version, although the Frappuccino packed more of a coffee flavor. Cafe Mom declared the Frappe to be more like a milkshake than a coffee drink, but the beverage's superior sweetness and richness relative to the Starbucks version won them over. Maybe it's no surprise, after all, that one of the world's foremost milkshake experts – OK, "shake" experts - got the Frappe right.


McDonald's Sweet Tea

I know, it's just tea. Tea and sugar, plain and simple—probably the easiest recipe on earth. But I had been getting so many requests to clone the McDonald's sweet tea recipe that I figured it's time for a hack. All you'll need to clone tea like Mickey D's are a few standard-size Lipton tea bags and a way to boil 2 quarts of water. There's a whole cup of sugar in there, so this tea is pretty sweet if you drink it straight. McDonald's serves the real stuff from a room-temperature jug into a cup filled to the top with ice. This will dilute the tea in just a few minutes so that it's not so crazy-sweet.

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1. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

2. When the water hits a rolling boil, take it off the heat, add the tea bags, and cover the saucepan. Allow the tea to steep tea for 1 hour, and then remove the tea bags.

3. Add 1 cup of sugar to a 2-quart pitcher, then add the tea. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the tea into a glass filled with ice to serve.


Our Strategy

We approach responsible sourcing holistically, considering our impact on the planet, the livelihoods of the people who produce our food, the communities in which they live and the well-being of the animals we rely on.

We want to ensure that our sustainable sourcing programs drive lasting, meaningful outcomes on critical issues for people, animals, the environment and our business. This vision inspires our focus on the following priority impact areas:

    Promoting the health and welfare of animals

We have set standards for our sourcing and engage closely with our supply chain to ensure they are upheld. To maintain a transparent, responsible supply chain, we require all our suppliers to comply with the McDonald’s Supplier Code of Conduct (PDF – 1.4 MB), which sets out our values and expectations for human rights, the workplace environment and business integrity.


McDonald's Tests Selling Coffee In Supermarkets

On Monday I suggested that the current McCafé coffee-sampling promotion might be a prelude to testing of bagged McCafé coffee at retail. McDonald’s and Kraft Foods Group said last year that testing would begin in 2014. But I have since learned that retail sales already have quietly begun in selected locations.

McDonald’s is testing bagged coffee, as in Canada, plus single-serve cups.

One is the Wegmans supermarket in Mechanicsburg, Pa., near Harrisburg, where McDonald’s McCafé brand is currently well represented on the coffee aisle. But in addition to ground Premium Roast McCafé coffee, ground Breakfast Roast, French Roast and Decaf Premium coffees are offered. For those who like flavored coffee, aVanilla-flavored Premium Roast is available.

These bagged coffees—all ground—are priced at $7.29. That’s slightly higher than the CAN$6.99 (now roughly US$6.32) at which a 12-oz. bag of McCafé was priced when introduced in Canada.

But McDonald’s also is testing interest in single-serve cups, too. Premium Roast, Decaf and Vanilla McCafé blends are offered at Wegmans in K-cups ® . At the Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, 12-count boxes of single-serve McCafé cups are priced at $7.49. As reported here previously, researcher Mintel says the single-serve-pod market was worth $3.1 billion in the U.S. last year and could account for 50% of coffee sales by 2018. The total coffee market was valued at $11.7 billion, according to MarketWatch.

McDonald’s Corp. did not respond to a request for comment on McCafé testing, so I can’t say in how many markets or at what price points McCafé currently is being offfered. It is not available in all Wegmans markets, according to sources, but other grocery chains and other cities no doubt are involved.

In 2010, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said coffee accounted for more than 6% of its U.S. sales. That share may since have increased, but even 6% of the chain’s 2013 domestic sales would be $2.15 billion. Coffee is an important product to McDonald’s.

Earlier this month, Starbucks unveiled four new breakfast sandwiches inspired by the La Boulange bakery it acquired. And Starbucks is an obvious coffee power. But I think the competitor McDonald’s is more carefully watching is Dunkin’ Donuts, which also has coffee and food credibility with consumers. In its 10-k SEC filing, Dunkin Brands claims that, “According to Nielsen, for the 52 weeks ending December 28, 2013, sales of our 12 oz. Original Blend [coffee], as expressed in total equivalent units and dollar sales, were double that of the next closest competitor” at retail.


So, What is Calcium Ascorbate and Is It Safe?

While the results of this little "experiment" may be pretty darn gross, you shouldn't be scared of Calcium Ascorbate. Calcium Ascorbate is totally safe to eat and was invented with the intention to preserve fresh-cut fruit. With this elixir, fruit can last for up to 21 days, which at first might sound freaky. But on the other hand, it does a lot of good, like saving fresh fruit from being wasted and providing a healthy option for kids' school lunches (and Happy Meals at McD's).

Beyond keeping fruit fresh, it can actually be commonly be found as an oral dietary supplement for those who have a medical condition caused by low levels of Vitamin C.

The Food and Drug Administration approves of Calcium Ascorbate as an additive in foods. And so far, there has been no research done that has proven that Calcium Ascorbate is bad for you. But for me, personally, I'm just a little freaked out and going to stick to fresh and organic produce from now on.



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