Your Big Mac Has Gotten More Expensive—Here’s Why

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

A bit shocked at the price of your lunch at Mickey Dee's? A recent study shows a significant increase in Big Mac prices around the world.

In 1967 when the iconic Big Mac burger was put on a McDonald’s menu in Uniontown, Pennsylvania by franchisee Jim Delligatti, the price was only 45 cents. With two beef patties, a slice of American cheese, dill pickles, minced onions and the company’s iconic special sauce, all served on that three-slice sesame seed bun, the Big Mac is now a staple on the McDonald’s menu around the world.

And yet, even the iconic McDonald’s sandwich isn’t safe from rising costs sweeping the nation right now. According to data collected by CashNetUSA in November 2022, the Big Mac price has gone up significantly—and the United States isn’t the only country feeling the new sense of sticker shock.

What Is the Price of a Big Mac in the USA?

Mcdonalds Big Mac Box Seen on a table inside restaurant with golden arch logo seen through the windowS3studio/Getty Images

Compared to the debut price of 45 cents, Big Mac prices are at an all-time high in this country—particularly in Hawaii, which sells the most expensive Big Mac in the United States right now at $5.31. While the cost of delivering materials to a place like Hawaii would make sense in the increase in price, what isn’t so surprising is the second most expensive state to buy a Big Mac right now: New York.

That’s right, New York is selling Big Macs at $5.23, which is even more expensive than Alaska at $4.87. New Jersey isn’t too far behind New York with Big Macs being sold for $5.19, and California is selling them at $5.11.

As for the least expensive Big Mac, you can buy the cheapest burger in Mississippi at $3.91. South Dakota, Missouri and Arkansas also have fairly affordable Big Macs at $3.95, followed by Alabama at $3.99.

After that, many of the states are selling the iconic burger somewhere in the four-dollar range. States like Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas are selling the Big Mac at just $4.07, while other states like Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona are selling it at $4.43.

Why Has the Price of Big Macs Gone Up?

Unsurprisingly, inflation is playing a major role when it comes to the price of your Big Mac at the register. The rise in price has to not only do with the high demand for goods—like beef, which saw a price increase of 9.6% in 2022—but also with operational costs and labor.

Yet even if price increases have become the norm at McDonald’s, it seems customers aren’t backing away from their usual go-to McDonald’s run. In 2022, McDonald’s reported over a 10% increase in sales growth and 26% more foot traffic in restaurants.

“Even though we’re pushing through pricing, the consumer is tolerating it well,” said McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski in a previous analyst call, according to CNN Business.

“We’re taking smaller, more frequent price increases because it gives us the flexibility to be able to see how consumers are reacting and then adjust if or when necessary,” said CFO Kevin Ozan.

What Is the Price of a Big Mac Across the World?

Although Big Mac prices in the United States seem high, compared to other countries, the prices are still rather low; the United States is selling the 19th most expensive Big Mac around the world.

The most expensive Big Mac is being sold in Liechtenstein and Switzerland at a price of $7.75, followed by Italy at $7.13.

The least expensive Big Mac can actually be found in Pakistan at just $1.91. Other countries with cheap Big Macs include Egypt at $2.12 and Indonesia at $2.35.

These prices are based on the Big Macs sold in capital cities of these countries, so technically the average here for the United States is $5.35—which seems expensive compared to state prices. This means that Big Macs sold within capital cities of the country are likely more expensive than the entire state averages reported by CashNetUSA.

Now only time will tell if the new McDonald’s Chicken Big Mac will suffer the same fate… if it ever makes it to your local Mickey Dee’s menu, of course.

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