If you’re a resident of Japan and crave the salty calorie bomb of a large McDonald’s fry order with your Kokuuma Angus Beef Balognese Gracoro sandwich or beef pie dessert, you might be met with a stern look from the chain’s employees. A fry shortage is underway in the country, and consumers are being forced to ration them.
The spud squeeze comes as the company is having issues bringing potatoes in, likely as a result of recent flooding issues in Canada, a common point of transit. The problem is severe enough that McDonald’s recently charted three 747 planes full of potatoes to Japan in an effort to meet demand.
“McDonald's Japan will temporarily limit sales of Medium- and Large-sized French Fries as a proactive measure to ensure customers can continue to enjoy McDonald's French Fries,” McDonald’s told the BBC in a statement.
While not exactly an acute crisis given other supply chain issues, news of the shortage still compelled some consumers to rush ahead of the company’s limited supply, which began December 20. “I did not plan to eat at McDonald’s today,” Sakato Mayumi told NBC News. “But then, I knew from the news that McDonald’s will not provide fries in medium portions and large portions from Friday for a week. I went to McDonald’s and had a set meal with large portions of fries.”
The rationing means customers can only choose one size of fry order—small—at the company’s 3000 Japan locations through December 30, at which point the company expects the supply chain issue to be resolved. It's not known whether ordering multiple small fries is tolerated.