Why McDonald’s is in the Midst of a McCafé Makeover


People who start their day with McDonald’s apple fritters, blueberry muffins or cinnamon rolls will have to find a new breakfast sweet. McDonald’s announced it is dropping those three McCafé Bakery items later this month.

What does the move signify for the burger giant overall? Industry insiders suggest McDonald’s may have overestimated the impact the McCafé Bakery would have.

McDonald’s debuted its bakery menu in October 2020, attempting to take on Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts at the height of the pandemic, which hit breakfast sales particularly hard. Recently, the company has been testing the sale of Krispy Kreme in 160 locations in Kentucky but has not commented on how a partnership would work, The Street recently reported.

The chain is keeping its chocolate chip cookies, baked apple pie and frozen desserts. Additionally, People reported the company plans to offer chocolate sandwich cookie pieces with a fluffy vanilla crème filling and chocolate cookie crust.

The McCafé Bakery concept was to enable McDonald’s to sell higher priced coffees during the critical breakfast hours. The Street reported that though the breakfast concept worked, it didn’t translate to more snack and coffee sales between mealtimes. The decision to drop all-day breakfast also likely worked against the McCafé effort, the report said.

“I know there was a time when the company thought there might be an opportunity to be an alternative to coffee shops like Starbucks,” tech columnist Jason Aten wrote in Inc., opining that the decision to sell the bakery items probably was misguided in the first place.

“McDonald’s isn’t Starbucks. It just isn’t,” Aten said, adding:

“No amount of messing with its menu will change the fact that when people think about grabbing a cup of coffee and a fresh baked good, McDonald’s is probably not at the top of the list.”

The burger chain has not said, however, whether it plans to scale back further.

“We’re always listening to fans and adjusting our menu based on what they crave,” the company said in a statement. “We know goodbyes are never easy.”

Food Business News recently reported that McDonald’s Krispy Kreme test was expanded in late March and includes glazed, chocolate iced sprinkles and chocolate iced Kreme-filled doughnuts.

The McCafé changes are not the only move McDonald’s is making.

The BBC reported on Saturday that McDonald’s is eliminating tomatoes from its menu in northern and eastern India. The company blamed seasonal crop issues that have made prices soar.

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