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    McDonald's Goes for Smoothies

    Olympic athletes get a preview of the chain's third beverage wave.

    OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Winter Olympics athletes get an early taste of an upcoming new menu item at McDonald's -- fruit smoothies, reported the Chicago Breaking Business News. As a big Olympics sponsor, McDonald's has restaurants in the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. Both are now serving strawberry banana and wild berry smoothies, made with real fruit.

    Smoothies are the third wave of McDonald's "combined beverage" initiative, its biggest new product foray in decades, according to the report. It went national in May with an advertising campaign for the company's McCafe espresso-based coffee drinks .

    Frappes are the second wave of the drinks blitz, and after being launched during 2009's fourth quarter, are now available in roughly one-third of McDonald's almost 14,000 U.S. outlets. Meanwhile, smoothies are being sold in some test markets.

    McDonald's expects that both smoothies and frappes will be available nationally by the middle of the year.

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