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McDonald’s is going to pumpkin battle with Starbucks

To maintain profitability in the face of higher labor, occupancy and operating costs, McDonald’s is responding by adding more premium and also expensive, items to its menu. After introducing wraps and smoothies, the company is now looking to take a sip of the coffee market and win some of the Starbucks crowd. Pumpkin spice-flavored latte is the new battlefield.

According to Starbucks spokeswoman Alisa Martinez, Starbucks has sold more than 200 million pumpkin spice-flavored lattes within the ten years since they were introduced in 2003. A 16-ounce pumpkin-spice latte sells for $4.55 on average at Starbucks. McDonald’s is now selling a competing product at a lower price: a similar-sized version costs $2.89.

The pumpkin latte will be available in the US from September 24 through mid-November. It will come in three sizes and be available with whole or non-fat milk. McDonald’s describes the drink as, “a blend of freshly brewed 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ espresso and creamy steamed milk infused with a combination of warm spices and flavors of pumpkin pie.”

While McDonald’s has already attempted to cash in on the yearly pumpkin craze before, serving pumpkin milkshakes, Starbucks has had a monopoly on Pumpkin Spice Lattes thus far. Other companies are also trying to get a piece of the pumpkin trend, i.e. Donut shop Dunkin’ Donuts has recently introduced pumpkin-spice mocha.

The move represents the latest in a move towards more café-like products by McDonald’s as it looks to attract consumers who do not buy its traditional fast food offerings. So far, this strategy has served the company well.

Find this interesting? You may also like our ‘McDonald’s Case Study: Remaining Relevant in a Health Conscious Society’.

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