Coke has so far relied on McDonald's as its main distribution channel for Minute Maid in the UK, but Marketing has learned that the fast-food giant is conducting consumer preference trials with several orange juice brands as part of a wider review of its breakfast menu. The result will determine which supplier McDonald's uses in its 1250 UK branches.
The news will send shockwaves through Coca-Cola's marketing department, which, to secure a sufficient supply of oranges for next year, must decide in the next few weeks whether to launch Minute Maid against PepsiCo's Tropicana.
Earlier this year PepsiCo UK president Martin Glenn revealed that Tropicana's adspend was to double to £5m. It has a supply deal with KFC, while Minute Maid also supplies Burger King in the UK.
The McDonald's review is likely to result in orange juice being marketed as part of its breakfast portfolio for the first time, and a major ad campaign is planned to promote the new-look menu.