NORTHFIELD, IL -- Kraft Foods Group and McDonald's have partnered to test McCafé-branded packaged coffee in new formats.
McCafé will be sold in whole-bean, ground and single-cup formats in grocery stores beginning next year, according to Kraft chief Tony Vernon, who announced the partnership. Vernon did not disclose the test markets.
Kraft is the exclusive distributor of the Tassimo single-cup brewing system, but also markets its Maxwell House and Gevalia brands in K-Cups for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' Keurig brewers.
Starbucks ended its packaged coffee retail partnership with Kraft in 2010. Kraft sued the Seattle coffee giant in an attempt to stop it from terminating the contract, but the court ruled in Starbucks' favor.
Starbucks then struck a deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to create Starbucks-branded K-Cups for the Waterbury, VT, roaster's Keurig system. The Seattle-based coffee chain also launched its own single-cup brewer, the Verismo.
McDonald's has been selling packaged coffee in Canadian grocery stores for the past year.