In an early 2007 Consumer Reports coffee taste test, coffee drinkers preferred McDonald's Premium Roast over blends of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King.
Currently, the local McDonald's are in the midst of reconfiguring their front counters to accommodate the fast food firm's move into expanded coffee shop offerings.
Even though they have had a nice tasting product for over a year, McDonald's chose to maintain their fast food heritage regarding their coffee. Even though promoting their coffee as a premium beverage in a redesigned cup, McDonald's failed to offer customers any choices of creamers. Instead of a selection of milks -- cream, whole, 2%, non-fat, soy, etc. -- and flavorings, McDonald's has limited coffee drinkers to a single type of coffee cream in "mini moos" (the miniature creamer "buckets" topped with foil -- see the picture above).
To be fair, McDonald's coffee drinkers could have a wider selection of creamers (2% or non-fat)... if they bought a small carton of milk with their cup of Premium Roast!
Jump, don't just stick your toes in
McDonald's seems to have the coffee that satisfies the palate. Here's hoping they realize it is more than just the coffee. Since McDonald's is entering the coffee market with more gusto, it would be beneficial to remember that up-market coffee is not viewed as a commodity and that even variables seemingly as small as coffee condiments impact consumer perception.