McDonald’s Rebuts Claims of Steep Price Increases

McDonald’s Rebuts Claims of Steep Price Increases | CIO Women Magazine

Source – New York Post

McDonald’s is addressing viral social media claims and media reports that suggest the company’s prices have surged dramatically. On Wednesday, Joe Erlinger, President of McDonald’s U.S., responded to these reports, specifically debunking the claim that the average price of a Big Mac has doubled since 2019. According to Erlinger, the average cost of a Big Mac was $4.39 in 2019 and has risen to $5.29 in 2023, marking a 20.5% increase. Erlinger emphasized the company’s commitment to transparency, stating, “For a brand that proudly serves nearly 90% of the U.S. population every year, we feel a responsibility to make sure the real facts are available.”

Addressing Price Variations

Erlinger also addressed frustrations stemming from a viral post on X, formerly known as Twitter, which highlighted an $18 Big Mac meal in Connecticut. He clarified that this price was an outlier and not representative of typical pricing. He pointed out that 95% of U.S. McDonald’s locations are owned and operated by franchisees who set their own prices but strive to keep them reasonable.

The current average price of a Big Mac meal, which includes a sandwich, fries, and a drink, is $9.29. While the Big Mac’s price has seen a moderate increase, other menu items have experienced more significant hikes. For instance, the average price of medium fries has gone from $2.29 in 2019 to $3.29 now, a 44% increase.

Inflation and Future Deals

The fast-food giant acknowledged that the average price of all its menu items has increased by 40% over the past five years. This rise is largely attributed to a similar 40% increase in costs for labor, paper, and food. This rate of increase surpasses the overall consumer price index, which has risen by 21% since December 2019. McDonald’s experienced a notable decline in customer traffic in the first quarter of this year, as inflation led consumers in the U.S. and other major markets to dine out less frequently. In response, the company is planning to introduce more attractive deals to entice customers back.

Next month, McDonald’s plans to launch a $5 meal deal nationwide, which will include a sandwich, a four-piece McNugget, small fries, and a small drink. Erlinger expressed optimism about the new offers, saying he hopes customers will find them appealing and valuable. He reiterated the company’s focus on maintaining value and affordability amidst rising costs. “It’s clear that we — together with our franchisees — must remain laser-focused on value and affordability,” Erlinger said.

In summary, while McDonald’s acknowledges that some of its prices have risen more than others, the company aims to correct public misconceptions and continues to prioritize offering value to its customers despite economic pressures.



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