ICONS ARE BETTER #11: THE BIG MAC
The Big Mac. A proud icon of fast food, capitalist America and even economics.
Invented in 1968, the recipe has never changed. To quote the famous advertising campaign; two all-beef patties, ‘special’ sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. With 17 sold every second, this famed recipe is universally known as the emotional and commercial heartland of McDonald’s.
It’s unique, constant, and for many, a nostalgic trip down memory lane. For Americans in particular, the internationally known Big Mac holds an emotional status enjoyed by few other products that have ever existed.
Love it or hate it, it is quite amazing that this bundle of calories is available wherever you are, and whoever you are. It’s always the same. It’s a constant symbol of the fast food world, representing the capitalist America and globalised food system that made it possible.
Such is the global and constant nature of the Big Mac, that The Economist invented ‘The Big Mac index’ in 1986. At the time this was intended to be a semi-humorous tool for comparing currencies, but it has since become a serious topic in the teachings of Macroeconomics.
The fact that it is this single product, out of every product sold globally, which was chosen to represent such a widely-known concept, for me, sums up the power of the Big Mac.
Rhonwen Lally – Planning Executive at mcgarrybowen
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