In a recent video on TikTok posted by user @jtressle, a young woman named Jacquelyn expressed her frustrations with the current price of McDonald’s french fries.
While sitting in her car, Jacquelyn shows her viewers a small McDonald’s french fry bag and speaks directly to the camera, stating, “Do you know how much a small french fry from McDonald’s costs? I’ll give you a second to think, have a guess.”
She then continues with the answer, “After tax, $2.96.” And ends the video with an exasperated, “$3 for one potato?!” And in the caption, Jacquelyn wrote, “We’re all in our Great Depression Era #fyp #inflation #greatdepression”
Jacquelyn’s short clip has gone viral around the country. With more than half a million views and over 1,000 comments, TikTokers are not only enjoying watching Jacquelyn complain, but they’re also getting involved.
Among the many comments, most people agree that the price of McDonald’s fries, as well as the rest of its food, has increased exponentially recently. In fact, many people reported that they don’t even go to McDonald’s anymore because of the price point; they can get more and better food for the same price at a restaurant.
One TikTok user wrote, “Yeah I’ve been pretty much priced out of McDonalds: I can spend the same amount of money at a local place. It’s not good food for the price,” while another said, “I do not go to McDonald’s anymore. Even with the app, it’s expensive now.”
“When I get a craving, I go to a local place for fresh cut fries. about the same price however I get two big potatoes, hot and fresh,” one comment explained.
And it’s not just McDonald’s that is upping its prices; other famous fast food chains such as Taco Bell and KFC were also called out in the comments section for their now-expensive menu. Anyone who enjoys fast food knows the truth: Fast food chains just aren’t as cheap as they used to be.
And the worst part is that in addition to raising their prices, many of these chains, including McDonald’s, are actually decreasing the size of their products at the same time. In Jacquelyn’s video, you can clearly see that the small french fry bag isn’t even full, and there are rumors that McDonald’s has started making thinner burger patties, too.
This problem is so common it has a name: Shrinkflation. While regular inflation applies to prices rising, “shrinkflation” is specific to products that shrink in quantity or size while either staying the same price or even getting more expensive. Companies around the country and the world are using this tactic in order to maintain profit margins and make it look like they’re not extensively raising their prices when really, the customer is paying more for less.
Whether or not McDonald’s and various other fast food chains will see a significant downturn and sales due to shrinkflation is still up in the air. Though there’s no doubt that people have noticed, and they’re not pleased.