McDonalds tests in-store cooler cases, Red Bull

Beverage retailers could soon face an unexpected competitor:

Advertising Age
reported the golden arched-corporation continues to test the sale of bottled
and canned drinks at about 150 locations. Selections vary store to store, but Age reported they include Red Bull and vitaminwater,
as well products from PepsiCo, the rival of McDonalds’ fountain drink supplier,

McDonalds’ spokeswoman Danya Proud declined to lay out a
time frame for the project’s roll-out, Age
reported, saying only, “This year into next year and even into 2010,
you’ll start to see the full realization of the beverage plans.”

The corporation said the cooler case will capture
incremental sales – grabbing beverage purchases the customers may have
otherwise made at a convenience store.

The company first rolled out the plan in 2006, when select
Texas locations stocked coolers with Coke, Pepsi and Arizona products. The most
recent experiment, Age reported,
includes New York-area stores.

The fast-food giant has lately coveted the mini-mart’s
customer base. The corporation in early April urged stores in the Western U.S. to
slash large soda prices to $1 this summer in a direct effort to sell more soda.

“Let’s take the c-store drink out of their hands and
build our transactions,” Steve Plotkin, McDonald’s western division chief in
an April 2 memo to franchisees in that region.