In land of bonsai, McDonald’s to dish out smaller French fries

The American burger giant, amid a potato crunch, is rationing its famed chips in the Japanese market

McDonald's. Representational image: iStock.
McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are favourite Christmas celebration venues for the Japanese.

Pandemic-led disruptions have eaten into computer chip supplies across the world, but it’s the other kind of chips that McDonald’s is worrying about. Floods in Canada, along with rising COVID cases, have hit the import of potatoes into Japan, forcing the American burger giant to ration its serving of French fries.

The Japanese, skilled at growing dwarfed bonsai trees, may not take too kindly to smaller versions of their favourite crisps servings, but the potato crunch has left the company with little choice.

“Due to large-scale flooding near the Port of Vancouver, and the global supply chain crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are delays in the supply of potatoes,” said a McDonald’s statement. The “stable procurement of resource materials” is proving difficult, it added.

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What’s on the plate for Japanese customers are smaller versions of the restaurant chain’s famed French fries. The company said this arrangement will be in effect for a week from Friday, to avoid shortages around the New Year.

The crunch situation has hit the firm just ahead of a busy holiday week, with most schools and offices closed. An AFP report said the rationing will be in effect on Christmas Day, too.

In the other ‘chip’ situation, global auto majors including Japan’s Toyota have introduced production cuts due to the shortage of semiconductors. Toyota plans to halt production at five plants next Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s are favourite Christmas celebration venues for the Japanese.month.