Big Mac

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Big Mac
Nutritional value per 1 sandwich 7.6 oz (220 g)
Energy540 kcal (2,300 kJ)
46 g (15%)
Sugars9 g
Dietary fiber3 g (13%)
28 g (43%)
Saturated10 g (50%)
Trans1 g
25 g
VitaminsQuantity
%DV
Vitamin A530 IU
Vitamin C
1%
1 mg
MineralsQuantity
%DV
Calcium
25%
250 mg
Iron
35%
4.5 mg
Sodium
63%
940 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Salt equivalent2,425 mg
Energy from fat250 kcal (1,000 kJ)
Cholesterol80 mg

Values may be different outside US market.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: McDonald's US Product Nutrition

The Big Mac is a hamburger sold by the international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was introduced in the Greater Pittsburgh area in 1967 and across the United States in 1968. It is one of the company's flagship products and signature dishes. The Big Mac contains two beef patties, cheese, shredded lettuce, pickles, minced onions, and a Thousand Island-type dressing advertised as "special sauce", on a three-slice sesame-seed bun.

History

The Big Mac was created by Jim Delligatti,[1] who stated later he didn’t invent the Big Mac but merely copied the double deck hamburger marketed by the Big Boy hamburger chain since the 1940s.[2] Mr. Delligatti operated several McDonald's restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. It was created in the kitchen of Delligatti's first McDonald's franchise, located on McKnight Road in suburban Ross Township.[3]

The Big Mac debuted at the McDonald's owned by Delligatti in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on April 22, 1967,[4] selling for US$0.45 (equivalent to $3.95 in 2022).[4][5]

It was designed to compete with Big Boy Restaurants' Big Boy hamburger. Eat'n Park was the Pittsburgh area's Big Boy franchisee at the time.[6] The Big Mac proved popular and it was added to the menu of all U.S. McDonald's restaurants in 1968.[5]

The Big Mac had two previous names, both of which failed in the marketplace: the Aristocrat and the Blue Ribbon Burger. The third name, Big Mac, was created by Esther Glickstein Rose, a 21-year-old advertising secretary who worked at McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.[7]

Product

The Big Mac is made with two 1.6 oz (45 g) beef patties, a "special sauce" (similar to Thousand Island dressing),[8] shredded iceberg lettuce, one processed American cheese slice, two slices of dill pickle, and minced onions, served on a three slice sesame seed bun.[9] On October 1, 2018, McDonald's announced that it would remove all artificial preservatives, flavors, and coloring from the Big Mac.[10][11]

The Big Mac is known worldwide and is often used as a symbol of American capitalism and decadence. The Economist has used it as a reference point for comparing the cost of living in different countries – the Big Mac Index – as it is so widely available and is comparable across markets. This index is sometimes referred to as Burgernomics.[12]

Sauce

Big Mac Sauce is delivered to McDonald's restaurants in sealed canisters designed by Sealright, from which it is meant to be directly dispensed using a calibrated "sauce gun" that dispenses a specified amount of the sauce for each pull of the trigger.[13]

In 2012, McDonald's executive chef Dan Coudreaut released a YouTube video revealing the recipe of the sauce. It consists of store-bought mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard whisked together with vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.[14][15]

In 2018, McDonald's revamped the sauce by removing potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA.[10][11]

The sauce is occasionally available for purchase on its own for a limited time. The first time was in 2015. A 25 ml (0.85 U.S. fl oz) tube was available for purchase but only in restaurants in Australia.[16] The last time it was available was in 2020. A 50 ml (1.7 U.S. fl oz) pot was available for purchase but only in restaurants in the UK and Ireland.[17]

Packaging

The Big Mac, along with many other McDonald's products, was first served in a collapsible cardboard container that was changed to a "clamshell" style, polystyrene foam container in the late 1970s. Polystyrene foam containers were phased out beginning in 1990, due to environmental concerns.[18]

Advertising

"Two all-beef patties" jingle

Big Mac button worn by Canadian crew members during the 1975 campaign

In 1974 McDonald's commissioned an advertising jingle which popularized the list of ingredients of the Big Mac: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."[19]

In 2008, McDonald's restaurants in Malaysia revived the slogan. The revival included the original prize of a free Big Mac if the customer was able to recite the slogan in under four seconds. It was released in May, along with the promotional Mega Mac, which had four beef patties instead of two.[20]

McDonaldland character

McDonalds playground Officer Big Mac climb-in jail

McDonalds began a television advertising campaign appealing to children in 1971 featuring a fantasy world populated by Ronald McDonald and various mascots promoting McDonalds products. Some characters were also modeled in McDonald's store playground equipment. The Big Mac was represented by Officer Big Mac, a Keystone Cops-style policeman with a giant Big Mac sandwich for a head. The characters were revised after a 1973 plagiarism lawsuit brought by television puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft because of similarities to their H.R. Pufnstuf characters. A modified Officer Big Mac continued in the commercials until 1985.

Hip-hop product placement

In 2005, McDonald's began offering product placement rewards to hip hop artists who namechecked the Big Mac in their music, giving US$5 to the artist for every time a song mentioning the hamburger was played on the radio.[21]

EU trademark revocation

McDonald's sued the Irish fast-food chain Supermac's for trademark infringement and claimed the name would confuse consumers in European markets.[22] On 11 January 2019, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled in Supermac's favor in what has been called a "David vs. Goliath" victory.[22] McDonald's submitted a copy of the Wikipedia article about the Big Mac as part of its evidence, but the court found the Wikipedia page was not acceptable as "independent evidence".[22][23]

In 2023, the EUIPO Board of Appeal annulled this decision after McDonald's filed 700 pages of additional evidence, despite objections. [24]

US sales

In 2007, Danya Proud, a McDonald's spokeswoman, said that in the United States alone, 560 million Big Macs are sold each year. This means that approximately 17 Big Macs are sold every second.[25][26]

Variants

  • The Mega Mac or Double Big Mac: four 1.6 oz (45 g) beef patties and an extra slice of cheese. Available in Canada, China, Egypt, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan (during promotional periods only), Turkey, Singapore, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, and United Kingdom.[20] It was introduced to the United States in early 2020, but was discontinued shortly after McDonald's streamlined menus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sandwich returned to the US market in January 2024.[27] In Australia it was discontinued and replaced by the Grand Big Mac. The Double Big Mac is the biggest regular hamburger the chain produces and it has 680 calories.[28]
  • Big Big Mac: a Quarter Pounder–like product sold in Europe (Finland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy). Has been sold periodically in Sweden, there called "Grand Big Mac".[29]
  • The Denali Mac: made with two quarter pound patties. Named after Denali in Alaska, and sold only in that state.[30][31]
  • In India, where consuming beef is illegal in most states, the Big Mac is known as the Maharaja Mac and was originally made with lamb instead of beef; however, along with the company's other items, it is now made from chicken.[32][33]
  • The Chicken Big Mac is a Big Mac with two breaded chicken patties sold in US,[34] UK,[35][36] Canada,[37] Pakistan, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and other countries as a limited-availability or promotional burger.[38][39][40]
  • The Giga Big Mac, is sold in Japan. It is a larger version of the Big Mac with three times the meat of a regular one.[41]
  • Little Mac or Mac Jr. is a reduction of the standard Big Mac which uses a two-piece bun and contains only one beef patty. It has been available as a limited-time promotion in the U.S. since 2017.[42]
  • Grand Mac uses larger patties, at 13 pound (0.15 kg) combined. Available in the U.S. beginning in 2017 and was first made available overseas in the UK, Ireland, and Australia as the "Grand Big Mac" in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Big Mac.[42] This and the Mac Jr. were collectively known as the "Big Mac range" in the UK.
  • Big Mac BLT is a standard Big Mac burger with the addition of bacon and tomato. Released in Australia and New Zealand as a promotional item in late 2017.[43]
  • Big Mac Bacon was introduced in selected markets in 2018, as a limited-time option. It is essentially a Big Mac with added bacon.[44] In 2019, this was extended in the UK to the Grand Big Mac and the Mac Jr.

Museum

The Big Mac Museum in 2014

On August 22, 2007, McDonald's opened the Big Mac Museum in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to celebrate the Big Mac's 40th anniversary. The museum features the world's largest Big Mac statue (measuring 14 feet high and 12 feet wide) and has hundreds of historical artifacts and exhibits that celebrate the Big Mac.[45][46]

Some Uniontown residents were unhappy with the selected location.[47]

Nutritional values per geographical location

The Big Mac is a geographically localized product. In the United States, the Big Mac has 550 kcal (2,300 kJ), 29 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. In Australia, the burger is slightly smaller with 493 kcal (2,060 kJ) and 26.9 grams of fat, but similar amounts of protein with 25.2 grams,[48] while the Japanese burger tops out the scales at 557 kcal and 30.5 grams of fat. Several McDonald's subsidiaries adapt the standard features of the Big Mac (from the US) to regional requirements.[49]

Comparisons of the Big Mac standard nutritional values in different countries – Sodium values converted to their salt equivalents, rounded and in bold
Country Energy kcal Carbohydrates g Protein g Fat (total) g Dietary fiber g Salt equivalent mg Serving
size
(weight) g
Reference
 Argentina 485 40 24 26 3.3 2005 .ar
 Australia 564 41.8 26.9 31.3 2550 233 .au Archived December 11, 2021, at the Wayback Machine
 Austria 495 40 27 25 3 2300 219 .at
 Belgium 495 40 27 25 2300 .be Archived September 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .ba (Halted operations.)
 Brazil 491 40 26 26 3.8 2033 .br
 Canada 520 45 23 28 3 2413 209 .ca
 Chile 562 49 27 30 4 1009 213 [1]
 China 520 46 26 26 .cn
 Croatia 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .hr Archived June 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
 Czech Republic 510 41 27 26 2200 .cz
 Denmark 510 41 27 26.1 3 2200 .info
 Egypt 522 52 28.235 30 2 234 .eg
 Finland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .fi
 France 508 42 27 26 3.1 2300 221 .info
 Germany 510 41 27 26 3 2200 221 .de
 Greece 495 40 27 25 3 2300 221 .gr
 Hong Kong 497 43.1 26.4 24.2 2003 .hk
 Hungary 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Ireland 490 41 28 24 4 2100 .ie
 Italy 510 42 27 26 3 2200 .it
 Japan 557 45.2 25.5 30.5 2800 .jp
 Lithuania 509 42 27 26 3.1 2300 219 .lt
 Malaysia 484 46 26 23 1825 209 .my
 Mexico 486 45 22 26 3 2228 .mx[permanent dead link]
 Netherlands 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 New Zealand 494 36.8 26.4 25.9 2415 202 .nz[dead link]
 Norway 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .no
 Poland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Portugal 509 42 27 26 3.2 2300 219 .pt
 Romania 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info[dead link]
 Russia 495 40 27 25 3 2300 .info[dead link]
 Serbia 493 40 27 25 3 2300 .rs
 Singapore 522 43 28 26 3 970 .sg
 South Africa 496 39 24.3 26.4 3.2 2433 .za
 South Korea 510 26 2533 213 .kr
 Sweden 505 42 26 26 3 2300 219 .se
  Switzerland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Taiwan 530 45 27 26 .tw
 Turkey 480 43 28 22 2100 .tr
 Ukraine 509 42 27 26 2300 .ua
 United Kingdom 508 43 26 25 3.6 2300 .uk
 United States 540 47 25 28 3 2426 215 .us

Gallery

See also

Similar products by other restaurant chains:

References

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Further reading

External links