McDonald’s Counters Claims of Major Big Mac Price Hike

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Pushing back against a tide of viral tweets and a flurry of media commentaries that have been quick to highlight its alleged substantial price hikes, McDonald’s laid out an emphatic counter-narrative. The fast-food giant, known for its iconic Big Mac, is now confronting the swirling rumors that it contends, greatly overstate the recent price increases of its beloved burger.

On Wednesday, the voice of this retort came directly from the top. McDonald’s U.S. President, Joe Erlinger published a post via the company’s website to quell the mounting speculations. He punctured claims that the Big Mac’s average price has doubled since 2019, labelling them nothing more than untruths.

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Erlinger clarified by using exact figures, McDonald’s stated that an average U.S. Big Mac costed $4.39 back in 2019 and that the current price sits at $5.29. This, in reality, marks a 20.5% increase in cost, a far cry from the purported dawn of the $10 Big Mac.

“As a brand that serves almost 90% of Americans every year, we deem it our responsibility to make certain everyone has access to the real facts,” affirmed Erlinger.

The Big Mac debate has undeniably stirred frustrations within the Mc-universe. Recognizing his own irritation, as well as that of many franchisees, Erlinger cited an X post from the summer past, which uproariously touted an $18 Big Mac meal in Connecticut as the new normal. Dismissing the anomaly as an exception, Erlinger highlighted that franchisees, who own and operate an overwhelming 95% of McDonald’s U.S. locations, were relentless in their efforts to mitigate price increase impacts.

Further illustrating the matter, the average price of a representative Big Mac meal, constituted by a sandwich, fries, and a drink, currently stands at $9.29 across the U.S. According to McDonald’s, this indicates a clearer picture than focusing on outlier cases.

The golden arches, however, did acknowledge that certain menu items have taken a bigger hit. Medium fries that were $2.29 in 2019, for instance, are now priced at $3.29, marking a steeper 44% ascent.

Over the past five years, the fast-food titan rationalizes that a 40% average increase in labor, paper, and food costs have necessitated a parallel 40% surge in average menu prices. This figure overshadows the general consumer prices increase, which has been reported as 21% since December 2019 by government data.

Recently, the company found itself wrestling with declining traffic over the year’s first three months. A general weariness of inflation appears to have driven both U.S. and international customers to dine out less frequently. As a responsive measure, enticing, lower-priced offers have been proposed by the company.

Expectations are rife for McDonald’s to roll out a $5 meal deal across U.S. locations next month. It promises a sandwich, a four-piece McNugget, small fries, and a drink at the new bargain rate.

Erlinger touted his optimism in the face of controversy, expressing hope that patrons will find the forthcoming deals “meaningful”.

In his closing statement, the U.S. chief pledged continued commitment to value and affordability, saying, “It’s clear that we – along with our franchisees – must remain laser-focused on these avenues.”