McDonald's to Focus on Coffee, Value Messaging This Year

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McDonald's to Focus on Coffee, Value Messaging This Year


OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Following weaker-than-expected quarterly sales, McDonald's Corp. reported plans to re-engage with customers by offering customizable sandwiches, emphasizing breakfast and coffee, and increasing marketing via mobile phones and other devices, the company stated during an earnings call this week.

Operational stumbles, weak demand and increased competition from Wendy's Co. and Burger King Worldwide Inc. contributed to disappointing sales for five straight quarters, with January sales also expected to fall below analysts' expectations, according to media reports.

Global same-store sales in 2013 increased by just 0.2 percent during the full year, while global comparable sales fell by 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter with a 1.4-percent decrease in the United States.

"Our U.S. 2013 results fell short of our expectations. We introduced a number of significant new products and limited-time offers at a quick pace that challenged more effective restaurant and marketing execution," McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson stated during the earnings call. "Our 2014 menu and marketing strategies better balance affordability with core products, new choices and limited-time offers."

This year's new strategies include pairing coffee products with food for an enhanced breakfast experience. The company also said it is working to evolve its value messaging, while improving operations and the rollout of future new products. Executives said they "over-complicated" menus last year, according to a report by Reuters.

McDonald's executives also added that the Dollar Menu & More, which was rolled out in November and features items from $1 to $5, met internal performance targets but did not appear to bring in more customers.