McDonald's Wants You To Come In For A Drink

Emboldened by its success with coffee and lattes, McDonald’s is about to take on Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and your local coffee shop, and grab a bigger chunk of the $153 billion beverage market. Coming next month: McDonald’s smoothies, which the company hopes will lure customers away from Jamba Juice and other smoothie chains.

AdAge slurped down the details:

“McDonald’s clearly wants to become more of a beverage destination,” said John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. “McDonald’s franchisees have been unhappy in years past seeing consumers bring in beverages from convenience stores either into their restaurants, or seeing them in cars go through the drive-thru.” …

Now McDonald’s is eyeing additional growth areas like frozen juice blends, with a test of frozen strawberry lemonade in a handful of markets, including Michigan and Austin.

These drinks have been a staple of Sonic’s success.

“From the very beginning, it was a holistic approach to the beverage category,” Alex Conti, senior director-menu management at McDonald’s USA, said of the multiyear initiative that has brought the bevy of beverages to U.S. restaurants. “With some things we thought we first had to build up our credibility.”

McDonald’s has had a mixed record with its beverage introductions. While the chain’s brewed coffee has been a success, Starbucks still rules that “ice blended coffee” market, with its Frappuccinos accounting for $2 billion of the $3.2 billion business.

Fast Food: The (Burger) World Is Not Enough for McDonald’s [Advertising Age]