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Are you ready for the coffee wars?

The brawl has begun
The brawl has begun

Ready or not, they've already begun. If you ever read The Puschart Wars as a child, this is nothing like it. Is Starbucks the sole, obvious choice where you head when you want coffee on the go? Then it's time to get in step with the changing face of coffee options. McDonald's, with it's remodeling to the McCafe, and ever expanding range of specialty coffee drinks has been accused of suffering from an acute case of Starbucks envy.

Simply put, McDonald's is in love with the corporate model that Starbucks has employed which has resulted in global brand recognition, while suffering from little of the low-class, trailer-trash, grease-hole vibe that some people still fling at Mickey D's. So part of their scheme has been, and will continue to be, finding a way to bridge into the cafe world, which is more than just frappuccinos and indie music. There's a whole vibe and ambiance that McDonald's wishes to embrace. But the ground floor is the coffee.

McDonald's stands as a case study because they've been the first to make this leap, and despite criticism of losing their identity, has promised to double down their commitment to the coffee world. Yet other big names, Chick-fil-A, BK, and Wendy's, most notably, have thrown their hats into the ring. Though if coffee indeed is to be the new face of fast food, McDonald's yet again enjoys firstcomer's advantage. Possibly the most intriguing wrinkle to watch for is how Starbucks reacts to war they face on all fronts. Will they respond with more aggressive food options?

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