The change has not gone unnoticed. “What do you mean the Big Tasty is the bread of the Big Mac now?!?!!!!!”, an internet user on the social network X (Twitter) exclaims. “What’s this change in size of the Big Tasty at McDonald’s???”, cries another. The disappointed reactions can be read in spades since the return a few days ago of Big Tasty to the menu of the 1,550 McDonald's restaurants in France.
The American fast-food chain has decided to change the recipe of its iconic burger, known for its sauce and its rather hearty character. The novelty lies in the fact that the Big Tasty is now also offered in a “two meat” format, with a slightly higher calorie content and therefore a higher price. The traditional Big Tasty, for its part, saw its calorie intake – and therefore its size – drop, from 868 to 663 calories. The bread of the two sandwiches has also changed.
It didn't take much longer for the controversy to swell. Some Internet users explicitly accuse McDonald’s of “shrinkflation”, this practice of certain food manufacturers consisting of reducing the size of a product without the price changing downward. Contacted, the fast-food chain denies it. “In the version of the Big Tasty with only one meat, it is offered, on average, at a price more accessible to the consumer,” she replies.
Except that the observation is not verified everywhere. Prices are not set uniformly by McDonald's management, but directly by the franchised restaurants who have free rein. The price of a burger can therefore vary considerably from one McDonald's to another. And some restaurants have apparently not reduced the price of their Big Tasty in proportion to the resizing of the product. “We recommended restaurants reduce the price, the overwhelming majority did so. Perhaps some have not, at the margin, followed these recommendations,” estimates the American company.
McDonald's reported increased results in the second quarter of 2023, continuing to benefit from increased menu prices. From April to the end of June, same-store sales, the benchmark indicator in the sector which excludes currency variations and only includes stores open for at least 13 months, increased by 11.7%. .