McDonald’s ends PepsiCo test

McDonald’s announced Friday that it ended a test that could have given PepsiCo a foothold in the world’s largest restaurant chain and Coca-Cola stronghold.

The fast-food chain, which has had a 50-year relationship with Coca-Cola, tested bottled PepsiCo products such as Gatorade and Mountain Dew at select locations in three markets, but McDonald’s spokeswoman Dayna Proud said those products will not make the transition to the chain’s national beverage strategy.

PepsiCo spokesman Larry Jabbonsky said the two companies mutually decided to end the test last summer after PepsiCo discovered that the opportunity in McDonald’s cold cases was smaller than expected.

The cold-case plan, still ongoing, coincides with McDonald’s attempts to bolster its soft-drink sales and draw in consumers that would normally buy their beverages at convenience stores. Proud said further tests, which have included Red Bull and vitaminwater, would continue.

Coca-Cola spokesman Ray Crockett said the company was pleased with McDonald’s decision.