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Starbucks vs. McDonalds: The Verdict

In a throwdown, it looks like the McFlurry would win out over the Grande Mocha.

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Apparently, we’re not as much of a caffeine nation as we may have thought. In fact, in a throwdown, it looks like a McFlurry would win out over a mocha latte. Or at least that’s what a recent Pew Research Center study would predict in the event of a McDonald’s-Starbucks match-up. It turns out Mickey D’s took the lead when a national random sample of 2,260 adults was asked whether they would prefer to live in a place with more golden arches or more green mermaids. The final score: 43% for McDonald’s, 35% for Starbucks. With a strong 8-point lead, it looks like many would be willing to give up a morning boost for a morning McMuffin. Interestingly, Pew also looked into the demographics behind these preferences. From the results presented in the report, it looks like the typical latte-drinker is more likely to fit the following profile: An 18- to 29-year-old, female West Coast upper-middle class liberal college graduate without religious affiliation. Blame it on Seattle. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is the favored choice among men, blacks, adults 65 and over, those with a high school degree or less, conservatives and Christians. When Pew conducted the survey, the question was prefaced with “Just for fun,” but the results, while not so surprising, could actually have significant meaning for the two mega-companies if they decide to target new franchises to those demographics—although the survey could also just be a reflection of already-determined target markets. It’s also important to note that Pew only offered two options in the question. Who knows what would’ve happened had Subway been thrown in the mix? Maybe a Five-dollar Footlong would have knocked out both a Filet-O-Fish and a Frappuccino.

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