You see, thereís this thing called the Big Mac Index, an informal index created by The Economist in 1986 to measure purchasing power parity, or in other words how expensive stuff is compared from one country to another. To do that you need a product that is similar in each country, and the BigMac does just that. As informal as the Big Mac Index is, its been around long enough to be taken very seriously.
Surprised was I when I read that Argentina does quite well in the BigMac IndexÖ but why is it then that Iíve always found it to be MORE expensive than other countries where Ive been to McDonalds?Ö wait.. why is it that Iíve always ordered Quarter Pounders with cheese instead of BigMacs?Ö oh! Thatís right! Thereís NO BIGMAC in Argentina! Its not advertised, its not displayed in any of their menu options, at least not openly in those big banners with pictures and menus. If you donít see it offered, you donít order it, and thatís the idea. McDonalds doesnít want you to order the BigMac in Argentina.
But why would they do this? Simple. To LIE about the BigMac Index, and make Argentina sound 50% cheaper than it actually is. If you compare the unusually low official price of the BigMac to the rest of the menus you see how its surprisingly low. The Argentine government came to some sort of arrangement with McDonalds: Keep the BigMac at X price, and weíll make it up to you. Thatís why the price is kept so low, and thatís why they donít tell anyone the BigMac is listed.
But can you actually get the BIgMac in Argentina, even if itís a best kept secret? I do remember this one time when my father visited us in Argentina and ordered a BigMac and they told him they didnít have it, but other sources assure that they are obligated to sell it to you, so give it a try!
Thatís how it works in Argentina. In any other sane country a company would openly advertise a product that they have at a very low price. In Argentina, its kept secret so as to not lose money, yet officially have it listed.
NY Times details -
This post has been edited by Peter Hun: 19 March 2012 - 08:02 AM