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McDonald’s Fries Near Extinction in Venezuela

McDonald’s Fries Near Extinction in Venezuela

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 03, 2015

Traditional potato chips from the menus of fast-food chain McDonald’s are set to disappear from Venezuelan franchises in 2015, as a result of widespread shortages being experienced in the country ruled by Nicolás Maduro.

There has yet to be an official announcement from the company, but a franchise manager has confirmed that McDonald’s is struggling to import the fries. In lieu of their complete departure from stores, the fast-food chain has ceased promoting them on Twitter and has introduced two local alternatives to replace the fries.

Already, the fries are not available with the Happy Meal menu for children. Instead, customers must choose between arepas or yucca, two traditional food products from Venezuela. Only the most traditional McDonald’s menu items still come with fries.

Thus, the international franchise joins the list of companies in Venezuela to suffer from the limited allocation of foreign currency.

Since mid 2014, given import difficulties, McDonald’s franchises have decided to purchase potatoes domestically to meet demand. However, the taste, texture, and image of the local chips have failed to match the quality standards of the originals handled by the corporate chain, as explained to local newspaper El Carabobeño by a Valencia franchise manager.

The shortage is not confined to the potatoes themselves. In fact, packaging stocks have run out, and many franchises have simply elected to deliver the potatoes in beverage cups instead.

This is not the first time that McDonald’s franchises have faced shortages in Venezuela. After a labor strike in 2002, hamburgers could no longer be served in their normal cardboard boxes. Similarly, toys that accompany the “Happy Meal” have been limited to board games in recent years.

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