McDonald’s Corp. confirmed Thursday that it would begin testing the sale of packaged coffee in bags and single-serving cups in grocery stores and retail outlets next year.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said its partnership with Kraft Foods to sell McCafé-branded packaged coffee would start in 2014, though the company did not disclose details about how many stores in how many markets would carry the product.

An Associated Press report said McDonald’s began selling bagged coffee in Canada late last year, but the company declined to confirm that.

“McDonald’s is committed to serving delicious, high-quality coffee that our customers can feel good about — at a value,” the company said in a statement. “We are building on the momentum of our McCafé beverages in our restaurants by expanding these options as we increasingly strive to become our customers’ favorite cup of coffee.”

The core Premium Roast Coffee offering at McDonald’s was introduced in 2006. McDonald’s launched the McCafé line of specialty coffee drinks in May 2009, and the beverages, from espressos and lattes to later products like Frappés and Real Fruit Smoothies, were instrumental to the company’s same-store sales growth throughout 2010 and 2011.

By the end of 2010, McDonald’s upgraded coffee platform had grown sales of coffee to 6 percent of the chain’s sales, rising from 2 percent of sales in 2004, according to an investor presentation given by then-president Don Thompson, who became chief executive in 2012.

McDonald’s operates or franchises more than 34,000 restaurants in 118 countries, including more than 14,000 locations in the United States.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN