Around the World in 20 Big Macs

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McDonalds and its flagship sandwich, the Big Mac, are one of the ever-present symbols and representations of the globalised world we live in. McDonald’s are everywhere. It’s actually easier to list the countries that don’t have a McDonald’s than countries that do, they are: 

  • North Korea
  • Bolivia
  • Ghana
  • North Macedonia
  • Bermuda
  • Zimbabwe
  • Iceland

The Big Mac was introduced to the McDonald’s menu in 1967, after its debut at a Pennsylvania franchise. Now, the Big Mac is available in over 100 countries. Despite its far reach and presence in so many countries, the Big Mac is not uniform across all of them. The mighty Big Mac changes from country to country, and Amica International have made this infographic to detail what we can learn from Big Macs across 20 different countries. 

This isn’t a new concept. ‘The Big Mac Index’ has been used as an economic metric for quite a while. It’s not afforded the same respect as GDP as a growth indicator and is more tongue-in-cheek than a serious growth index, but the cost of a Big Mac in any given country gives us some information about the power of the currency and the cost of living around the world.

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It also relates to the idea of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) which states that exchange rates accurately reflect the value of goods for any particular currency. Amica have taken cost into account as well as actual nutritional content across 20 different Big Macs. 

Using the original USA Big Mac as the benchmark, let’s see how other countries compared…

The ‘Healthiest’ Big Mac in the World

Due to kosher food laws, the healthiest Big Mac in the world belongs to Israel. Kosher is a dietary law of Judaism and forbids Jews from eating foods like shellfish, pork or mixing meat and dairy products. As a result, there can be no cheese or dairy on the Big Mac, giving it a ‘healthier’ edge. Israel’s Big Mac is lower in calories, carbs, fat and salt than the original.

The unhealthiest Big Mac belongs to Egypt. Their Big Macs are roughly 10% heavier than the US Big Mac, resulting in more calories, fat, carbs and protein. However, Egypt’s Big Mac has the lowest salt content of all the ones Amica analysed, but also the highest amount of protein.

The Cheapest Big Mac in the World

The cost of a Big Mac is what informs the ‘Big Mac Index’ and is an imaginative, if not humorous way of measuring the cost of living around the world. The cheapest Big Mac in the world is also the unhealthiest: Egypt’s. Compared to a US Big Mac ($3.99), Egypt’s is $1.46. This is followed by Russia ($2.00) and South Africa ($2.14). 

The most expensive Big Mac of the ones Amica analysed is Sweden’s at $5.40. The most expensive Big Mac in the world is actually in Switzerland ($6.62). 

Check out Amica’s infographic and use it to inform your next holiday! 



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