McDonald's may sell coffee beans

The effort might not amount to much, but it shows the fast-food chain has a clear interest in upping the competition with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.

By Kim Peterson Oct 4, 2012 1:48PM
Image: Coffee Foodcollection RF, Getty Images, Getty ImagesMcDonald's (MCD) has filed a trademark registration related to selling ground and whole-bean coffee. The company isn't commenting on the issue, but the intent is obvious: McDonald's may soon intensify its competition with Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin' Brands (DNKN).

It's unclear how this will play out. McDonald's might sell bagged coffee at its restaurants like Starbucks does. Or it might sell coffee on supermarket shelves. Perhaps McDonald's is looking at producing coffee pods for single-cup machines like the Keurig brewers from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). There are so many possibilities.

Dunkin' Donuts has seen strong sales of bagged coffees, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The move makes sense. Coffee has been a bright spot for McDonald's since the burger chain started the McCafé concept five years ago. And Starbucks has estimated that packaged coffee is a $5.6 billion business in the U.S., the Journal reported, with 58% of American adults drinking coffee.

McDonald's said in 2010 that coffee drinks had grown to more than 6% of its U.S. sales, up from 2% in 2004. Assuming the percentage has increased since then, McCafé is becoming a key part of the business.

"We do see coffee as a point of leverage and growth for us," McDonald's CEO Don Thompson said in 2010 when he was the company's president and chief operating officer.

McDonald's downplayed the trademark filing when contacted by BurgerBusiness, saying it registers a lot of trademarks.

McDonald's enjoys some very loyal coffee drinkers. A survey last year reported by The Journal found that only 29% of McDonald's coffee drinkers also visit Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. But 53% of Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks customers will "roam" to other chains.

More from Top Stocks


Oct 4, 2012 3:41PM
Oct 4, 2012 4:42PM
I wonder if they will be selling the Arabica beans that they use for their McCafe' drinks, or their premium roast coffee.
Oct 4, 2012 7:20PM
No, correction, McDonald's used to have the best coffee.
Oct 4, 2012 7:40PM
I think McDonalds had a wonderful strategy last week by given free coffee away...that way they could get us hooked!  It certainly worked on me. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.