McDonald’s Buttermilk Biscuit OF DOOM

I’m generally interested when new products are launched, especially when free samples are provided as part of a marketing campaign. So, McDonald’s refreshed their coffee line last year? I gave it a try. This year, they’re launching new Buttermilk biscuits. Think about their Bacon and Egg McMuffin, but instead of the english muffin, it has been replaced by a biscuit. I thought this might be a reasonable option. While Tim Hortons offers both a homestyle biscuit and an english muffin, I prefer their biscuit.

What can I say about the McDonald’s biscuit? Well… I suppose it didn’t taste as greasy as their english muffins. That’s the good side of things. The biscuit itself was dry and floury. It had very little taste of its own, and the texture overwhelmed the comparatively small amount of eggs and bacon. In the end, I couldn’t even finish it. What I did manage to get down is now sitting like a rock in my stomach.

They’re available for free tomorrow as well. I think I’ll pass. While I’m reasonably certain that this isn’t what McDonald’s intended for them to taste like, I don’t have any desire to try them again. In order for a promotion to work, your product actually has to be good. If it’s an unpleasant experience, it’s going to be counterproductive.

Coffee Promotions

Thoughts on Tim Hortons and McDonalds coffee promotions.

A recent blog entry from one of the hosts of my local news radio station about coffee promotions got me thinking about coffee marketing.

It’s obviously no coincidence that McDonalds started a promotion of a free small coffee at the same time as Tim Horton’s Roll Up the Rim to Win contest. While I agree that McDonalds is not the place I would turn to first for a cup of coffee, I disagree with his statements regarding sticking to certain strengths. McDonalds is attempting to counter the attacks Tim Hortons has been making in the breakfast department. Five or six years ago, my morning routine would include a stop at McDonalds for a Bacon n’ Egg McMuffin, followed by a trip through the Tims drive-through for a large double double. These days, when I need my breakfast on the go, I can get a bacon breakfast sandwich at Tims with my coffee.

I will admit, the McDonalds coffee is decent. This still won’t change my morning routine. I pass three separate Tim Hortons on my morning commute, but there aren’t any Golden Arches in sight. Tim Hortons franchises have a pretty good density in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

I will however, consider ordering a coffee from McDonalds when I’m there already. That is part of the point, I believe. McDonalds is not attempting to become the leader in coffee. They’re trying to remain competitive, especially in the morning breakfast market.

As for the Roll up the Rim contest at Tim Hortons? Earlier this week, a free coffee won me a free coffee, which is about as far as the chain ever seems to go.