Starbucks is King, McCafe is Prince - it is actually the other way round
When I took a sip of McCafe's caramel latte, I concluded that McCafe is underrated and Starbucks is overrated.
I had the caramel latte at McDonald's Batu Caves with my Mom and Dad. We never tried any products from the McCafe before. So, we tried some of their drinks. I had caramel latte in a clear, transparent glass and my parents had the cappuccino. It is garnished with chocolate powder in the form of an alphabet 'M'. The cappuccino is filled in a brown mug with the McCafe logo on it.
We love our drinks. And I told my parents, "This is better and cheaper than Starbucks."
Every morning after I step out from the train to go to my office, I always think to have a very nice cup of coffee. Sometimes, I reward myself with a cup of Starbucks. I really adore their hot chocolate and the hot latte.
This sounds odd, but I feel that holding the white cup with your name on it is prestigious. You do not buy Starbucks for the coffee. You buy Starbucks for the brand.
Starbucks puts their brand really well in front of the public eyes. The Starbucks moment that I still remember until today is from the movie, Miss Congeniality. Sandra Bullock's character, Gracie Hart used her FBI's ID to cut the long line at the counter so she can make her order:-
"All right. I need eight double tall lattes. One with no foam. Five decaf lattes with a long straw. Four caramel macchiatos. Double up on the cup. Two blueberry scones with the little granules on top and one Starbucks compilation CD."
My all-time favorite movie.
Anyway, what flashed in your mind when you heard McDonald's? Big Mac. Not the fried chicken because we have KFC for that. Obviously not McCafe because of Starbucks.
Honestly speaking, I never had Starbucks when I was young. It is not family friendly - because of the price. I started to drink Starbucks when I was in the university. (One of the perks of studying in a campus that has a Starbucks cafe.)
I remember, one of my classmates drinks Starbucks three times a day - yes, three different cups. That is insane.
In a nutshell, Starbucks has its own identity. Starbucks has its own unique glory. People spend money for Starbucks because it is Starbucks. Not to mention, my company treats me and my colleagues a cup of Starbucks once in a while. I always order Green Tea Frappuccino for that.
Starbucks's influence is so strong, it is so hard for McCafe to penetrate the strong market set by the coffee company led by Howard Schultz.
Even when McCafe was started, I was not fascinated by it. It is just another coffee brand. As I am loyal to Starbucks, I have no desire to even try the drinks from McCafe.
However, my caramel latte experience at McDonald's Batu Caves has changed my overall perception towards Starbucks and McCafe. McCafe supposes to be the king of coffee. Not Starbucks.
Here is why.
McCafe's presentation is just flawless. They use their signature brown mug for their cappuccino and mocha, transparent glass for their latte. They really put an effort into their presentation with their caramel or chocolate drizzle.
What do you get if you drink in Starbucks? A splash of coffee in their signature white mug. That is all.
For the price, McCafe definitely wins. With the good coffee that you get, the price is below RM 10.
Starbucks's price can go up to almost RM 20 a cup, and you get a coffee in a fancy disposable cup, with your name on it. In contrary, a small cup of McCafe's cappuccino costs only around RM 4. And do not get fooled with the small cups. The small cup is big. Really big.
It is time for McDonald's to step up in their marketing game for McCafe. It is an unnoticed gem. The unsung hero. As for me, I am slanting to McCafe now, more than Starbucks.