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The Great Coffee War... Big Mac, Starbucks Smackdown Coming

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Starbucks fires CEO and then is handed a cup of potentially bitter brew.

"Psst...Hey buddy, you want some coffee?" said the hushed voice from against the wall,  just as Sam was about to enter his local Starbucks. "Oh, no, thanks, I am going to grab one inside right now." responded Sam. "I'm not talking about that garbage, I'm talking great coffee here, you know, the real stuff and a lot cheaper than what you can get in there," said the voice, as it looked furtively from side to side. "you need to ramble on over to the Golden Arches', tell'em Joey sent ya,they'll hook you right up." 

McDonalds, the number one restaurant company in the world, has squared it's sights on the "premium" coffee market and is specifically aiming too lay some real hurt on barista king, "Starbucks." On January 7Th, Corporate McDonalds confirmed it's intention to enter the caffeine gold rush in a grande way. It was reported that  Big Mac plans to offer high end coffee bars in virtually all of it's 14,000 locations across America. They expect to add up to $1 billion in additional annual revenue.

In a recent Consumer Reports magazine article, McDonalds Premium Roast was pronounced as tastier than Starbucks, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts. Trained coffee sippers declared Starbucks brew as "strong but burnt and bitter."  I guess that's a step up from the Burger King review that simply stated that their cuppa of Joe "looked like coffee but tasted more like hot water."

It's been a very tough year for the U.S. coffee giant, Starbucks. On the same day Mickey D's made the formal announcement that they were joining the fray for latte lovers, Starbucks canned it's CEO, Jim Donald. Not really surprising considering that over the last 12 months their stock price have fallen almost in half. High dairy prices and the continual expansion of new stores are said to have squeezed the profit udders to the point of drying up.

"All I really want is a cup of coffee'

"give me a friggin' cup of coffee"

"I don't want a magazine or a CD"

"I don't want a latte or a frappe"

"Just give me a coffee that doesn't taste like crappe"

"All I really want is a cup of coffee"......

Arrogant Worms>> (portion of lyrics) "The Coffee Song"

While Starbucks' current fortunes seem to be caught in a death roll, McDonald's shares have continued to rise, up some 33% for the year. I find it interesting that once again, the big wigs can only find potential success by the fine art of imitation. One could smell something was up last May when Starbucks management announced it's new breakfast offerings. Yup, Egg McMuffins, coffee world style, included such items as Eggs Florentine with Baby Spinach, Reduced-Fat Peppered Bacon, Egg & Cheddar all served up piping hot from the microwave. Wasn't that new and innovative!

We are a nation of coffee guzzlers, with almost six out of every ten American adults drinking at least one cup a day. Do the math, McDonalds brew is going to cost you about 60 cents less than current Starbucks offerings of equal potions. That will save the single cup drinker about $190 a year.

Me, personally, I have never been a big fan of Starbucks and their never ending expansion. Here in Simi Valley, California there are seven stores within a 3 mile square. Stores facing stores. Coffee starved patrons trying to get the counter while wrestling with the stacks of coffee makers, Cd's and gift store items and other items best found in mall kiosks. With that said, the concept of entering a McDonalds replete with a 3 year old hanging on mom's ankles shrilly screaming, "I want Playplace," is less than appealing. This caffeine dependant soul will continue to buy his coffee at the local Chevron station. 20oz's of fresh and hot java complete with all the flavored creamers and sweeteners, and all for $1.39. Hey, while I am there, I might buy some gas......I always need gas.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/346397_sbuxdonald08.html

www.CBSNews.com

Belfast Telegraph http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/world/north-

america/article2209817.ece

MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22536076/



About the Writer

Steven Lane is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on The Great Coffee War... Big Mac, Starbucks Smackdown Coming

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By Batman on January 28, 2008 at 04:35 am

Bill, I was there like 9 months ago, and they already had the specialty coffee. Good to know that they get everything in our area first.

Of course, my kids have recently outgrown McD's, so, I don't see us going there again any time soon.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Rules!!!

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By DLFerguson on January 28, 2008 at 06:42 am

There's no better coffee than gas station coffee.  They know how to make it strong enough to keep you up all day and half the night and it's reasonably priced. 

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By Lady D on January 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Good article. I frequent coffe shops for atmosphere more than coffee, neither which McDonalds or Starbucks have ( well at least not the kind of atmosphere I enjoy).

If I just want a good cup of coffee, I can make my own.

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By Sharlene Hardin on January 28, 2008 at 04:00 pm

I just read an article on Wed of last week where Starbucks is trying to compete with McD's coffee by testing their $1 coffee/free refills in their Seattle stores. 

http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN2364011620080123

I've pretty much given up coffee drinking on a daily basis myself (still trying to flush the chemo toxins out of my system).  And would really rather brew my own coffee then wait in a long line and pay $4 for a dessert coffee that has as many calories as a big mac. 

Good article though.

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By V on January 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Fabulous, just what the world needs ... more shit coffee to go with more shit food. "As much as possible not as good as possible," is always a great motto.

Loved the article Steve.

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