McDonald’s Promotes Vaccines Via Coffee Cups

The QSR partnered with the White House on the campaign; CDC updates facemask guidance. 

May 14, 2021

McDonald's Sign

NEW YORK—McDonald’s announced it would change its coffee cup design to promote COVID-19 vaccinations, CNN Business reports. The fast-food chain worked with the White House on the redesigned McCafé cups and delivery seal stickers to highlight the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” slogan.

The news comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control yesterday issued new guidance saying that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear facemasks or socially distance when outdoors or indoors in most settings—except where required by federal, state and local law, including local business and workplace guidance.

McDonald’s newcups will launch in July and last several weeks, with the slogan and vaccine information appearing on about 50 million cups. McDonald’s is also using its Time Square billboard to display vaccine information starting this month.

“We all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones and be together with our communities again,” said Genna Gent, McDonald's USA vice president for global public policy and government relations. “McDonald's is excited to be doing our part for the people we serve, providing them with simple information that can help keep them safe.”

The public-private partnership will “be able to get trusted information about vaccines when they grab a cup of coffee or order a meal,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This effort will help more people make informed decisions about their health and learn about steps they can take to protect themselves and their communities.”

McDonald’s did not receive government funds for the promotion. The “We Can Do This” campaign debuted in March to encourage vaccine hesitant Americans to get the shot. So far, more than 150 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier this year, NACS joined the Veterans Coalition for Vaccination to help promote a national PSA to encourage full vaccination called #ThisIsOurShot. Be sure to check out the COVID-19 vaccination response plan developed by NACS member company StrasGlobal for guidance on how to navigate your own vaccination issues. The plan is available to all retailers looking for guidance on employee vaccinations.

Convenience Matters also has a bonus episode on the topic, available for listeners here.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including information about how to educate employees about the vaccines and other vaccine-related human resources advice. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.

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