November 13, 2009
McDonald's big new beverage blitz — espresso-based coffee drinks, smoothies and frappes — is on track in test markets to exceed its sales goals, the head of McDonald's U.S. operations told stock analysts Thursday.
McDonald's beverage offensive, its biggest new product launch in decades, began in regional test markets in 2006 and went national in May, accompanied by a big ad campaign for its McCafe coffee drinks.
Year to date through October, McDonald's overall U.S. coffee sales are up 28 percent over the same time a year ago, and more than 90 percent of that gain stems from McCafe drinks. Those drinks include all hot and iced espresso-based beverages, as well as hot chocolate.
The next elements of the beverage offensive, smoothies and frappes, are being rolled out regionally or in test markets, and both drinks are expected to be widely available by midsummer 2010.