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One Big Mac, One McMocha, Please

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Nov 14, 2007 2:36PM

$25,000 in new equipment and $75,000 in remodeling is all it will take for McDonald's across the country to begin serving specialty coffees. The Oak Brook-based company announced that it plans to roll out specialty coffees, smoothies and frappes at the company's annual analysts meeting yesterday. McDonald's President Don Thompson announced, "We want to move from beverages as an accompaniment to beverages as a destination," which is funny only to the extent that one can imagine hopping on a plane that's heading to "beverage" as a final destination (we bet there are delicious alcoholic drinks served for free on that flight).

2007_11_premium.jpgThose in the know (analysts) seem to agree that this is a good direction for the hamburger behemoth to head in, as these "snack products" can help "lure in more customers during times of relatively low sales volume." McDonald's is banking on people stopping by to pick up a latte who wouldn't normally be there.

Lest you be concerned that your local Starbucks is going the way of the dodo due to this new development, fear not. It seems the specialty coffee market is growing at such a healthy pace, that there's no reason for concern. Sharon Zackfia, a stock analyst at William Blair & Co told the Trib, "When the pie is growing, there's room for everyone to have a piece of the pie." Also, McDonald's won't let you customize your drink, so if you are the type of person who enjoys ordering a double nonfat caramel macchiatto, better stick with Starbucks. Unless you are a lady; in that case, you might be better off skipping going out for coffee entirely.