The fast food chain will join Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts by putting ready-to-drink coffee in grocery stores.
mccafe coming to stores retail bottles
Credit: Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald’s is joining veteran competitors Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, in the bottled retail coffee game. Come early 2018 you’ll be able to find caramel, mocha, and vanilla McCafé Frappes on supermarket shelves, the fast food chain announced today. As an added bonus, soon you will be able to order a McDonald’s brand caramel macchiato, French vanilla, caramel or hazelnut cappuccinos, and an iced or hot Americanos. They’ll go for $2 a pop.

McDonald’s teamed up with leading experts in ready-to-drink, bottled beverages, and long-time partner Coca-Cola for this project, so it seems as though it's in good hands. According to Beverage Marketing, ready-made coffee is $2.8 billion industry. And, understandably, it seems the fast food chain wants in on some of the action. Other perks of bottled java include higher profits, lower labor costs, and less food waste when compared with brick-and-mortar operations. McDonald’s recently weathered a sales slump and surely has earnings in mind.

McDonald's edge against Starbuck’s and Dunkin Donuts has always been its compared affordability. President of McDonald’s USA Chris Kempczinski emphasized that saying, “we understand how important the coffee culture is for consumers and we are committed to meeting that demand at the taste, convenience and value only McDonald’s can offer.”

The first McCafe started in Australia in 1993 and made its way to the U.S. in 2009, and has since gone through a couple of revampings to compete with larger coffee-focused chains like Starbucks. The company got very serious about its coffee game early this summer when they stocked up on $12,000 espresso machines and offered drip coffee on the dollar menu. The Chicago Tribune reports that McDonald’s believes ”coffee creates a habit.” Unlike hash browns, fries or a McFlurries, customers need their caffeine fix every day.

But the changes seem to be working. In the most recent quarter, the fast food chain reported higher traffic for the first time since CEO Steve Easterbrook took over. Of course, by putting its products in grocery stores, pretty soon fans McDonald's coffee won't even have to set foot into a McDonald's to get it.