Fast Food Wars with a Twist

The Lempert Report
January 10, 2024

On the Bullseye - for years fast food giants have battled their ways thru burger wars, chicken wars and even french fry wars. But there is a new battle - and it’s all about beverages - especially coffee. The players are McDonald’s, Starbucks and Costco. By now you’ve heard about McDonald’s new small format CosMc’s - it’s a beverage focused restaurant that has announced it’ll open in 10 locations this year. McDonald’s says that CosMc’s menu is rooted in beverage exploration with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors and functional boosts including lemonades and teas, blended beverages and cold coffees including S’mores Cold Brew. Seriously? Who are they targeting? They say it’s inspired by nostalgia and is landing earthside for us humans to enjoy. Could just be another McPizza in my book. Starbucks launched its new winter menu last week with Iced Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, Pistachio Cream Cold Brew which is sweetened with vanilla syrup and topped with smooth, nutty pistachio cream cold foam (whatever that is) and salted brown butter sprinkles and a more simple Pistachio Latte. Starbucks is also introducing some new sandwiches - probably prompted by the new CosMc’s creamy avocado tomatillo sandwich, spicy quest sandwich and McPops which sort of look like mini creme filled donuts. Back to Starbucks - their new breakfast sandwich - forget the EggMcMuffin folks - is the baked, not fried, Potato, Cheddar & Chive Bakes with cage-free eggs, diced potatoes, cheddar, spinach and chives. or you might choose the Chicken, Maple Butter & Egg sandwich. My vote for the winner in this latest battle is actually Costco, who is introducing their Kirkland Signature Breakfast Sandwich which, rumors have it, is a knockoff of Starbuck’s double-smoked bacon breakfast sandwich which is applewood smoked bacon, egg, cheddar and on a spiral butter croissant which retails for $5.45 but at Costco you only pay $1.99 - but it only comes so far in a frozen 8 pack which retails for $15.99 - of course unlike at Starbucks you are going to have to heat it up yourself. By the way you are wondering Costco doesn’t sell hot coffee in their food court, just a cold brew Mocha Freeze, which I’ve tried and doesn’t compare to those sold at coffee places. Starbucks is now pushing for you to bring your own clean cup for your beverages. They say the process is contactless - which I really don’t understand. The smart move is that they are offering a ten cents discount when you do use your own cup. My question is what happens if you don’t bring in a spotless clean cup?

Listen to the FULL Podcast HERE

More Lempert Report LIVE