Wegmans vs McDonald’s: Who wins the race?

McDonald’s Corp. already markets its McCafé Besta coffee in supermarkets in the United States. And the proof goes far beyond the high-quality roasted coffee that has been available in Canada since late 2012.

On Monday, I suggested that the recent announcement of the McCafé coffee show should kick off the McCafé retail coffee test. McDonald’s and Kraft Foods Group announced that testing will begin in 2014. Since then, however, I have learned that retail sales in some places have started quietly.

The stiff fight

One of them is the Wegmans supermarket in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, where the MyWegmansConnect McCafé brand is currently well represented in coffee. In addition to McCafé premium roasted coffee, there is also roasted coffee for breakfast, roasted coffee, and premium coffee without caffeine. For those who like flavored coffee, there is a premium roasted vanilla flavor.

These prepackaged coffees, all ground, cost $ 7.29. That’s a little more than the $ 6.99 (now around $ 6.32) for which a 12-ounce McCafé bag was offered when it started in Canada (see below).

MyWegmansConnect is also testing its interest in individual cups. Wegmans offers premium roasted, decaf, and vanilla McCafé blends in K-Cups®. At Wegmans, Mechanicsburg, boxes of 12 single-dose McCafé cups cost $ 7.49. As mentioned earlier, the single-serve capsule market in the USA was $ 3.1 billion last year and could represent 50% of coffee sales in 2018. The overall coffee market was estimated at $ 11.7 billion, according to MarketWatch.

McDonald’s Corp. I did not respond to a request for comment on the McCafé tests, so I cannot say how many markets or at what prices McCafé is currently offered. According to sources, it is not available in all Wegmans markets, but other supermarket chains and other cities are certainly involved.

In 2010, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said that coffee represents more than 6% of its sales in the United States. That percentage may have increased since then, but even 6% of the chain’s internal sales in 2013 would have been $ 2.15 billion. Coffee is an important product for McDonald’s.

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