Is the average Joe going to be the death-knell of McDonalds?
Don’t be too sure…
I was greeted with this article this morning over my ordinary cup-a-joe. It’s all about how McDonalds stock is being dumped by insiders because they are trying to sell better coffee and bill themselves more as a coffee shop where you can get even crappier food even cheaper.
Consider demographics and brand personality. Starbucks is urban, born in Seattle, and populated by graduate students looking for single-origin coffees from Africa. McDonald’s is Mainstreet U.S.A., packed full of blue-collar men, moms and kids, and broke teens ordering off the dollar menu. If you can’t picture a truck driver from Wyoming ordering a double-pump vanilla non-fat latté, then McCafé is doomed -- especially with all the competition entering the field.
Obviously, this guy has never been to a Dunn Brother’s in Bemidji and seen a huge guy in Carharts get out of his rusted pick-up, walk back into the store with a stylish paper car cup, and declare that he ordered a skim-no-whip-caffe-caramel-macchiatto, and this one clearly had whip on it.
My neighbor, the professional carpenter and general contractor extraordinaire has a Caribou coffee addiction that rivals his ability to calculate slope, area and volume in his head simultaneously.
I was disabused of this silly notion that the average guy was not into caffeinated novelty drinks when I was in a hotel lobby in Bemidji listening to a trio of hocky dads from the Iron Range discuss the relative virtues of Starbucks, Dunn Bros, and Caribou.
If McDonalds is in trouble, it’s not because the average Joe cannot appreciate the subtle finery of specialty coffee.
No, I could see an assertion of cultural tone-deafness if they, for instance, insisted on putting little pastel umbrellas in said confections. There IS some silliness that the Average American Male simply will not put up with. But adding sugar, cream, and flavored corn syrup to something containing the highest level of caffeine possible simply doesn’t fall into that catagory.