What’s in this coffee? The unlikely rise of McDonald’s brand brew.

The other day, I was strolling through Costco, and saw McDonald’s brand coffee pods on sale. I was amazed – not so long ago, I was working on the McDonald’s account as a creative director and writer, and the coffee was our Achilles’ Heel.

How did they do it? I mean, people were now not only ordering java at McCafes, they were buying the stuff to take home.

McDonald's brand coffee at Costco
For all the unbelievers. McCafe at Costco.

To answer this question (and gaze into the McDonald’s crystal ball) I sat down for a chat with my friend – and former McDonald’s marketer – Brad Gamble. Brad and I have known one another for 20 years…so yeah, we kept it casual.

(Want to check out our conversation? Click on the link below to hear the podcast!)

In addition to talking about the coffee, we dug into other McDonald’s subjects. Here were a few that I found particularly interesting.

meatless patties

I’m a Sausage McMuffin die hard. But the other day, I tried the meatless breakfast sandwich at A&W, and was knocked off my feet. Brad concurred – meatless was going to be a game changer. For the obvious health reasons, and because a new generation of consumers make their menu choices with values and ethics on their checklist.

Free brand audit ad

Again, this may sound like a given. But the fundamental menu at McDonald’s hasn’t changed dramatically in over 50 years, and the core clientele have been fine with that. Meatless, however, could be the disruptor that rocks the boat.

data data data

Brad told me that one of McDonald’s bold new ventures is creating auto order systems, which would enable you to simply drive up to a restaurant and get your favourite meal delivered with nary an order.

This is, of course, the tip of the data iceberg. What might follow would be services like an Amazon-style ‘If you liked this, you may also like that’ recommendation system.

and now, the podcast

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