McDonald's is partnering with Kraft Foods Group to test selling McCafe packaged coffee in U.S. grocery stores.
Kraft CEO Tony Vernon announced the partnership.
are expected to start next year, but the test markets were not disclosed.
Starbucks announced it was ending its packaged coffee retail partnership with Kraft in late 2010. Kraft sued
to stop Starbucks from ending the contract, but a court ruled in Starbucks's favor. Starbucks subsequently partnered with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to create Starbucks K-Cups for
GMCR’s Keurig system. Starbucks also launched its own brewing system, Verismo.
In the tests with Kraft, the McCafe coffee will be sold in whole-bean, ground and single-cup
Kraft is the exclusive distributor of the Tassimo Brewing system, but also markets its Maxwell House and premium Gevalia brands in Keurig-compatible K-cups.
McDonald's has been selling packaged McCafe in Canadian grocery stores for about a year, reported The Wall Street
A McDonald's spokesperson said the chain regularly conducts market tests, adding: "We are building on the momentum of our McCafe beverages in our restaurants by
expanding these options...to grocery stores and other retail locations,"
Vernon said he doesn't expect McCafe to cannibalize the sales of Kraft's coffee brands.