McDonald's Canada takes on grocery

Partners with Kraft Canada to launch McCafe brand in supermarkets

Ronald McDonald will soon be joining the likes of the Pillsbury Doughboy, Cap’n Crunch, and other iconic CPG icons.McDonald’s Canada is planning its grand entrance into the retail coffee market under its McCafe brand.

The news comes at the heels of the a similar announcement made in the U.S. But unlike their counterpart south of the border which plans to launch its new line in 2015, McDonald’s Canada plans to have McCafe products on shelves by the end of the month.

The fast food chain is working with Kraft Canada to produce and distribute McCafe Premium Roast Coffee in fine grind as well as single-cup brewing systems

is not our area of expertise – we’re good at providing our customers with a good restaurant and customer service experience,” explains John Betts, McDonald’s Canada CEO and president. “ are masters when it comes to retail and getting big brands out there.”

Betts has seen the growth of the McCafe brand first hand. If you talked about coffee in Canada five or six years ago, Betts says, McDonald’s would not have been part of the conversation. After establishing their premium roast coffee, McCafe is now the fastest growing brewed coffee in the restaurant world.

READ: McDonald’s to sell packaged coffee in U.S. grocery stores

McDonald’s Canada has sold some retail coffee in its restaurant locations, but nothing compared to this new market in the grocery channel.

“We’re excited to partner with McDonald’s Canada to help Canadian consumers enjoy their much-loved McCafe Premium Roast Coffee at home.  Now they can get it in the formats they want every time they go to their grocery store,” said Brian Kerr, vice-president beverages for Kraft Canada in a statement.  “Our partnership leverages each of our best-in-class capabilities and will ultimately help us drive category growth by delivering one of Canada’s largest, fastest-growing coffee brands to coffee lovers nationwide.”

Kraft Canada has actively grown its share in the coffee market. For its successful Tassimo division, Kraft partnered with Second Cup and Tim Hortons to grow the single-serve coffee category and draw new consumers. But the partnership with McDonald’s Canada will represent their biggest launch of the year.

The Canadian powerhouses are launching  340-gram and 950-gram packages of find grind coffee, and single serve pods for Tassimo and Keurig. Betts says it made sense to launch with this starting suite and expects to see more offerings down the line once it evolves.

“If we came out with one SKU, it would underplay what people are looking for,” he explains. “It’s not about coffee snobbery – it’s about coffee accessibility.”

McDonald’s Canada and Kraft Canada have collaborated completely on the project. The team will be rolling out a multi-channel marketing campaign to coincide with the line’s launch on Sept. 29.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds