McDonald’s Serves Up Godzilla-Sized Fries in Japan

‘Mega Potato’ boasts more calories than two Big Macs.

Appoximately two orders worth of fries. (Photo: Elisabeth Schmitt/Getty Images)

May 23, 2013· 1 MIN READ
Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart who has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

If you want evidence that pretty much anything in excess looks, well, gross, then look no further than the new Mega Potato being rolled out for a limited time only at McDonald’s in Japan.

It may well be that Japan was one of the only markets where Mickey D’s could get away with serving up a mongo bucket o’ fries without immediately conjuring that image of Morgan Spurlock on the poster for Super Size Me, his mouth crammed full of stringy spuds.

The Mega Potato weighs in at three-quarters of a pound of fries, and at more than 1,100 calories, it’s the highest-calorie food served at McDonald’s, reports MSN. (One Big Mac is a mere 550.) Yes, Mega Potato comes in McDonald’s trademark fry pack, its red-and-gold frame supersized to a dimension that somehow calls to mind the lateral expansion of the average American derriere.

(As evidence, I offer up my own less-than-scientific experience from recently shopping for patio furniture with my partner: Try comparing a vintage patio chair made c. 1970 with the wide-berth options being marketed today.)

Now it’s become de rigueur for fast-food chains to offer up some sort of bizarre, excessive menu item, then for those of us in the blogosphere to pounce, snarkily decrying the blatant disregard for public health. (Japan is suffering from its own surge in obesity and type 2 diabetes, which had been connected to its rising consumption of fast food.)

But at MSN, Jason Notte offers up something that might be called the backlash to the backlash. He chronicles the chain’s well-publicized recent woes, as sales have sagged and McDonald’s has tried to expand its menu, not only to offer more healthy choices but to attract more millenials. His basic point: McDonald’s should return to what it does best (which, apparently, is serve big, cheap portions of calorie-laden food).

“McDonald’s critics will pound away at it regardless of how broad it tries to make its menu. Its core customers, as the company is discovering in Japan, just want more of what they crave. At some point, maybe McDonald’s will stop placating its critics and start rewarding its loyalists. Yes, they want fries with that.”

Yeah, with more than $27 billion in annual revenue and 69 million customers served around the world each day, McDonald’s sure could use a little more love.