By Annie Gasparro
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) plans to start selling ground coffee in
major Canadian stores in November.
The world's largest fast-food chain seems to be following in the
footsteps of Dunkin' Donuts by selling bagged coffee under its
famous brand, after building up a loyal customer following in its
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant has been expanding its
coffee and specialty-drink business since launching the "McCafe"
menu in the U.S. about five years ago. These "Frappes" and flavored
coffees have higher profit margins than much of the food McDonald's
sells, and have encouraged customers to stop by more often
throughout the day.
Last month, McDonald's filed for a trademark with the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office for use of its name on ground and
While some speculate the chain could bring the bagged coffee to
the U.S. next, a McDonald's spokeswoman said, "We have no other
plans to sell the coffee elsewhere at this time."
McDonald's has registered many trademarks for titles that have
gone on to become menu items, such as the "McCruncher," a chicken
sandwich the chain began test marketing in May, a month after
filing for the trademark; and the "McCafe" moniker, which it also
filed for around the same time as it began selling the specialty
Packaged coffee is a roughly $5.6 billion business in the U.S.,
according to coffee giant Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), representing a
significant opportunity for McDonald's. Coffee recently represented
more than 6% of McDonald's U.S. sales, up from 2% in 2004, as
customers become more loyal to the brand for their morning
Dunkin' Donuts, owned by Dunkin' Brands Inc. (DNKN), has
reported strong sales of its bagged coffees and, more recently, of
its K-Cup coffee pods for use in Keurig single-serve brewers.
McDonald's also said Thursday it would potentially consider
making single-cup coffee packets, to be used in Keurig machines or
similar brewing systems, over the long term.
News of McDonald's bagged coffee and possible entrance in to
single-serve coffee was reported earlier by Reuters.
McDonald's Canada will begin selling the McCafe Premium Roast
bagged coffee for 6.99 Canadian dollars for 340 grams, beginning
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