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OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corp. will begin to sell its McCafe coffee in the grocery aisle next year, but the point is to drive "greater awareness and sell more coffee in our restaurants," the chain's U.S. Chief Brand and Strategy Officer Kevin Newell stated during the company's recent earnings call, in which the fast feeder also noted a chief priority will be improving the customer experience by speeding up service.
Although the fast-food chain's executives declined to say how many markets the McCafe grocery test will run in, it's clearly a major priority for the company -- if not the top priority -- in the United States, according to a report by Advertising Age.
With more than 70 percent of coffee consumption in the U.S. happening at home, Newell said the retail test will allow McDonald's to tap into the demand that exists, and "highlights how serious we are about elevating McCafe brand potential."
In addition, to push its coffee platform forward, the company will eventually roll out more flavored espresso drinks similar to the pumpkin spice latte it introduced this fall. It's likely that tea may be another McCafe priority, as several executives during the investor meeting flagged growing opportunity in that category. It's also highly likely McDonald's will significantly increase its marketing spending around McCafe, though the company didn't provide specifics on how much, Advertising Age noted.