May 28, 2009

McDonalds vs. Starbucks Taste Test

CoffeeReview.com has posted a pretty good article that details their taste test cupping of McDonalds vs. Starbucks. The results may surprise you, they surprised me. McDonald's wasn't blown away, and my take is that McDonald's is good enough to grab a share of the market and keep people from migrating up to/over to Starbucks. I don't think that McDonald's is vying for the Coffee Connoisseur's crown here, they are vying for your money.

If you believe Howard Schultz, Starbucks isn't really worried about the competition, but their recent ad campaign that drives for coffee authenticity says they are as they talk about the intrinsic value of their coffee, their quality and your need not to accept anything inferior (read: "McDonalds"). Should be an interesting battle, as McDonald's will certainly achieve some success at what cost to Starbucks, only Howard and a few of his inside market share crunchers will know, but it is pretty clear that the press seems to think that success by McDonald's has to come at the expense of Starbucks from all the head to head attention the McDonald's launch is generating. While I am not a zealous fan of Starbucks, I do appreciate the quality that they bring to the party, and with McDonald's investment in the espresso coffee market, I believe that they will grow the market significantly. Some of that growth will most likely come in the form of muted growth at Starbucks in the future.

CoffeeReview.com took a look and rates the Cappuccinos the same, with a slightly milkier flavor for the McDonald's one versus the Starbucks version offering a bit more depth to the coffee flavor. this was also true for the Lattes. The Mocha and Caramel flavored drinks at McDonald's sound like they were designed to be more appealing to McShake drinkers with their sweetness levels and low coffee impact. The difference was "Dramatic" according to the article.

More at CoffeeReview.com

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Posted by Scott Martin at May 28, 2009 6:19 AM
Recent Comments

Order coffee at MacDonald’s - You can’t have it your way

While traveling from Indianapolis to Atlanta with my in-laws recently we stopped at several Macdonald’s. I decided to try their new McCafe so, at a location in Kentucky, I ordered a double shot tall cappuccino. The clerk looked confused and asked, “What kind?” I repeated “a double shot tall cappuccino. Uh, do you mean what flavor.” “Yeah, what flavor?” I replied “No flavor, just a double shot cappuccino.” That was when the manager of the store came over and stated that I was their first customer since they were trained on the machine and they were warned about people like me ordering that way. I had to ask how else one would order since that was the only language I had for what I wanted. I did finally get a coffee that was more milk than coffee but it did have two shots of espresso in it.

We then proceeded down the road and at the next MacDonald’s I tried again. This time I ordered a double shot medium cappuccino and the clerk asked, “Uh, do what? Do you want espresso with that?” I gave up and got my husband a diet Coke.


Posted by: Ellen at June 3, 2009 8:42 PM
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