No McDonald’s meal is complete without an order of french fries. Their distinct, delicious taste has been long praised by customers and, thanks to their low production cost, they are actually more profitable to the company than hamburgers.
Even here in Japan, we often hear people say that McDonald’s french fries are the main reason they visit the hamburger chain. At the same time, however, there seem to be many customers who feel suspicious toward the amount of fries they’re being served, that they’re being given a medium-sized quantity in a large-sized container.
Thereupon, we decided to purchase 20 orders of McDonald’s french fries and weigh them individually to test the validity of these claims.
Since french fries are put into containers by hand, we naturally expected some variation in weight between individual orders.
We also decided to look at variation according to size difference by using 10 large fries and 10 medium fries in our measurements.
The results are as follows:
・Official weight standard set by McDonald’s Japan
Large 170 grams
Medium 135 grams
Small 74 grams
・Actual weight measured from a sample of 20 fries
Large 149 / 155 / 155 / 157 / 158 / 161 / 164 / 166 / 167 / 169 grams
Medium 111 / 124 / 125 / 126 / 127 / 134 / 135 / 136 / 139 / 141 grams
・Study results by size: Large
Average weight 160 grams（10g less than the 170g standard）
Gross weight 1601 grams
Maximum weight 169 grams
Minimum weight 149 grams
・Study results by size: Medium
Average weight 130 grams（5g less than the 135g standard）
Gross weight 1298 grams
Maximum weight 141 grams
Minimum weight 111 grams
※All figures rounded down, weight of dish excluded
The verdict? Not 1 of the 10 large fries we measured reached the McDonald’s Japan official weight standard of 170 grams. Even with the medium size, only 4 out of 10 were at or above the 135g standard.
Furthermore, there was only an 8 gram difference between the smallest large size (149g) and the largest medium size (141g).
The gross weight of the 10 large fries was also 100 grams less than it would be were each order measured to standard. That’s a difference of over one small order of fries!
So, who’s to blame for this 10 gram gap? When we mentioned our findings to a McDonald’s Japan staff member, he commented: “We just put them in by feeling.” Perhaps stricter training or routine french fry weight check-ups are in order?
Also, it remains unclear if this trend is endemic to McDonald’s Japan. If any of you readers living abroad decide to put your local McDonald’s to the scales, please let us know the results!
[ Read in Japanese ]