McCafé, McDonald’s

Enabling McCafé to own take-away coffees.

We helped McCafé synthesize the masses of research they had to identify their best opportunities for growth.


We helped McCafé synthesise the masses of research they had to identify their best opportunities for growth. We identified takeaway coffee should be their key focus and that they needed to build the McCafe sub-brand to build their coffee credentials.

McCafé, McDonald’s

The Problem

McDonald’s launched the McCafé brand in 1993 in Australia and within 10 years they were the largest coffee shop brand in Australia and New Zealand. Since then McCafé has seen varying success across the globe; great success in mainland Europe but difficulty in the UK’s highly competitive coffee market. McDonald’s McCafé offer was confusing; the brand was recognisible but people didn’t know why they would go to McCafé. The brand was over-shadowed by the McDonald’s brand.

The Potential

We synthesised all the data McDonald’s had in order to identify the future of coffee and where they could grow the category by stimulating behaviour not just consideration. We identified that the biggest area for growth for McCafé was takeaway coffee. McCafé could authentically play in a space their competitors could not. Takeaway coffee is about refuelling without fuss. McCafé’s coffee was not just great value but great tasting too.

McCafé, McDonald’s

The Plan

The immediate plan was for McDonald’s to invest in the McCafé sub-brand so they could build their coffee credentials in the takeaway space to drive credibility, consideration & relevance. This meant a relaunch of the brand, positioning it as a great value, no fuss alternative, led by Leo Burnett London. The long-term plan focuses on a clear roadmap for future growth, having identified other spaces they can authentically play in. We empowered McCafé to create their own pathways rather than following what their competitors do and enabled them to own that space.

We gave McCafé a credible platform to gain market share.