McDonald's has unveiled its new retro-themed restaurant chain CosMc's, which it hopes will rival Starbucks

McDonald's has unveiled its new player in the fiercely competitive fast-food market and it has stumped AM hosts Ryan Bridge and Melissa Chan-Green.  

CosMc's is described as a retro-style restaurant, which will operate in the same market segment as Starbucks in the United States. 

Opening this month, its pilot store in Chicago will focus on hot and cold specialty drinks such as Churro Frappes and S'Mores Cold Brews. 

CosMc's menu.
CosMc's menu. Photo credit: Supplied.

The chain is designed to be "otherworldly" - but Chan-Green thinks the name sounds like they'll be offering things other than novelty drinks. 

Reacting to the brand, CosMc's, Chan-Green joked, "It sounds like some kind of drugs store, doesn't it?" 

To which Bridge reacted, "It is a weird name".  

BBC News reports the name comes from a McDonaldland mascot who appeared in adverts in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  

CosMc was an alien from outer space that craved food. 

"They've obviously done some market research, they're smart company, and there must be a market for it", Bridge said.  

And market research they have done.  

BBC News describes it as the fast-food chain's latest effort to crack the lucrative coffee market, especially in the United States, where more than 60 percent of the country drinks at least one cup a day.  

"It's a very important category that McDonald's is not capitalising on properly in the US," Jeffrey Young, founder of a coffee research consultancy, told BBC News. 

As well as drinks, CosMc's will feature a small number of McDonald's staple items including Egg McMuffins.  

The aim is to have 10 CosMc's restaurants open by the end of 2024.