Coffee wars

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The coffee wars are various marketing moves by coffee shops to increase brand market share. In North America, this currently includes Dunkin',[1] Starbucks,[1] Second Cup, Tim Hortons, McDonald's (including McCafés),[2] and Burger King.[2]


Coffee chains that originated in Canada includes Blenz Coffee, Coffee Time, Second Cup, Tim Horton's, and Timothy's World Coffee. Tim Horton's is the largest coffee chain in the country by number of stores, with 4,613 stores in Canada on December 31, 2016.[3]

Several American coffee and fast food chains have also entered the Canadian market, including McDonald's, and Starbucks. McDonald's, and Starbucks both operate over 1,400 stores in Canada,[4][5] whereas Dunkin' only has four retail locations, all in Greater Montreal.[6][7] In 2014, Canada has the more Starbucks per capita than any other country in the world, with 39.54 Starbucks stores for every million residents in Canada.[8] In an effort to gain further market share in the Canadian coffee market, McDonald's began opening standalone McCafés in Canada in 2015.[9]

In addition to coffee, several of these fast food retailers, including Country Style, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Tim Horton's also compete for the country's fast food breakfast market, referred to as the "breakfast wars".[10]

United States[edit]

While the Coffee Wars have traditionally been between Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks in the United States, more competitors have attempted to expand in the country. In particular, Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain which historically had only a limited presence in the U.S. (primarily in Western New York), made a major expansion into the United States in the early part of the 21st century, culminating in its corporate merger with established U.S. fast food chain Burger King. Established general fast food chains also began promoting their coffee products, including McDonald's, which introduced its McCafé line aimed at customers of coffee shops.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hughes, Jennifer (20 November 2012). "The Coffee Wars Continue". National Real Estate Investor. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b Hill, Chris (13 February 2013). "1 New Player In The Coffee Wars". Motley Fools. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  3. ^ Sagan, Aleksandra (January 10, 2018). "By the numbers: Tim Hortons franchisees and Ontario's minimum wage hike". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "Our Canadian Story". Starbucks. 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "University of the Fraser Valley and McDonald's team up to offer credit toward university credentials". Cision. CNW Group Ltd. August 27, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "To find a location (Montreal)". Dunkin Donuts. December 3, 2016. Archived from the original on December 3, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "To find a location (Montreal South Shore)". Dunkin Donuts. August 23, 2016. Archived from the original on August 23, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "Canada Leads World In Starbucks Locations". Huffington Post. AOL. May 27, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Henderson, Peter (December 9, 2015). "McDonald's opens first stand-alone McCafe at Toronto's Union Station". CityNews. Rogers Media. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Deschamps, Tara (May 10, 2018). "McDonald's serves up bagels amid breakfast war and Tim Hortons franchisee strife". The National Post. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2019.