NEW YORK - McDonald's Tuesday became the latest food giant to enter the retail coffee market, announcing plans to market a variety of coffee products under its McCafe brand.
Partnering with food giant Kraft, the fast-food chain will market ground coffee, whole bean and single-cup products at supermarkets and other stores for home brewing. The products will be launched in early 2015, McDonald's and Kraft said.
Greg Watson, senior vice president for US menu innovation at McDonald's, said the home availability of the McCafe line is "natural next step" since McDonald's built up the brand in its restaurants.
"In a competitive category that is growing rapidly and changing every day, this new partnership with McDonald's represents a whole new era in the world of at-home premium coffee," said Nina Barton, vice president for coffee at Kraft.
McDonald's joins an increasingly crowded coffee market, battling against Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and others.
The launch comes as the fast- food giant struggles with lagging sales that have depressed earnings. In the most recent quarter, comparable sales dropped 1.5 percent in the US and 1.0 percent in Europe, partially offset by a 1.1 percent increase in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
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