McDonald’s is among the few companies doing well in this economy and, now that Starbucks is on the ropes, they’re poised for the kill: the company announced today they’re bringing their McCafe coffee products to New York — that is, Mickey D quality lattes, cappucinos, and mochas, hot and iced.
The line extension actually started in Australia in the early 90s, but has only been rolled out aggressively in the U.S. in recent years. Bringing their downscale upscale bevs to New York was long considered a bridge-and-tunnel too far, but McDonald’s signaled its crossover ambitions with its surprise appointment as the “official coffee” of Fashion Week this year. Though many McCafes are stand-alones, in New York the drinks will be served at existing McDonald’s locations.
Will the locals go for it? Some f&b critics have actually praised McCafe beverages (“That tastes like a real latte”). But we imagine some New Yorkers will have trouble switching labels — coffee isn’t much of a status item, but it’s all some of us have got. On the other hand, it is cheaper than most fancy brands, so maybe it can achieve a kind of poverty chic, like Chuck Taylors. Or maybe it’s just time to go back to plain old coffee.