McDonald's Unveils New McCafé Drinks

McDonald's McCafé beverage line has introduced for the first time two new seasonal, limited-time drinks.

From now through Jan. 2, customers can purchase Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate beverages at all of McDonald's 14,000-plus U.S. restaurants.

The Peppermint Mocha combines espresso with dark-chocolate syrup, peppermint flavor and steamed milk, and is topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Both that drink and the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, a minty variation of cocoa, are customizable, allowing guests to choose from whole or skim milk and whipped cream or plain.

McDonald's Corp. has cited its McCafé line as a major sales driver since its debut in May 2009.

"Beverages now represent more than 20 percent of sales for McDonald's USA, so it's becoming increasingly important to add new and unique beverage options to the McDonald's menu," said Marta Fearon, McCafé marketing director for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain. "We are pleased to provide customers with a flavorful taste experience that is perfect for the holiday season."

McDonald's will promote the items this week with its McCafé Coffee Break Tour in six major cities throughout November. The event kicks off Monday in San Francisco, before traveling to Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The brand similarly deployed an eight-city scavenger hunt when it launched the McCafé Caramel Mocha a year ago. That line extension, as well as a national McRib promotion, drove a 4.9-percent increase in same-store sales at all U.S. locations in November 2010.

The chain's other upgrades to McCafé this year included changing the packaging and toppings on all milk shakes to include whipped cream and a cherry, as well as the introductions of Frozen Strawberry Lemonade in May and the Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie in late June.

McDonald's operates or franchises more than 32,000 quick-service restaurants worldwide.

— Mark Brandau,