McDonald’s may add ‘destination beverages’

From the Associated Press

Smoothies, iced coffee and other specialty coffees could be added to the menu at McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., a top executive of the world’s largest restaurant chain said Wednesday.

Ralph Alvarez, president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s Corp., said the company was exploring those drinks and others as it sought “destination beverages” that might bring new customers to its restaurants.

“Our beverages have really been complementary to a sandwich purchase,” Alvarez said. “That’s the space we offer it in. So we are going after destination beverages that attract visits from customers to McDonald’s throughout the day.”

McDonald’s already has scored a hit beverage recently with the addition of premium coffee to its more than 13,700 restaurants in the U.S. a year ago. Alvarez said coffee unit volume was up 15% as a result.


The introduction of a higher-priced coffee was part of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain’s push to grow its breakfast business, and Alvarez made clear that expansion effort remained a top priority as reflected by aggressive marketing and new products.

Up next are Cinnamon Melts, which Alvarez described as warm, pull-apart sweet rolls with cinnamon glaze. The product will be rolled out in 11,000 McDonald’s by summer.

Despite the push on other products such as its chicken and salad items, McDonald’s still sells more hamburgers than it did four years ago, Alvarez said.

McDonald’s shares fell 77 cents to $43.69.