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View Full Version : Why are McNuggets (tm) so expensive in Canada?


hogarth
01-20-2012, 12:37 PM
The other day, my wife wanted to buy some Chicken McNuggets. I almost had an aneurysm when I saw how expensive they were -- $4.69 for 6 nuggets! After tax, that was almost a dollar per McNugget.

And now, I just noticed in another thread that a pack of 4 McNuggets is on the "dollar menu" in the U.S. (at least in some locations). That's one third of the per-nugget price that I'm paying in Canada (Toronto, specifically).

Thinking back, when I was a kid I seem to recall that 9 McNuggets cost about the same as a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder. And now 6 McNuggets cost about the same as a large sandwich.

Why can't we have cheap McNuggets in Canada? Do we have to import chickens from Mongolia or something?

Lukeinva
01-20-2012, 12:44 PM
Can't help you, but I'd like to know if McDonald's up there has McPoutine? I think that would be great.

Cat Whisperer
01-20-2012, 12:45 PM
We have to make our McNuggets with chicken here - it's somewhat restrictive. :)

Johnny L.A.
01-20-2012, 12:45 PM
If I could get the SO to go visit her relatives, I want to make a Spicy McHaggis Sandwich.

hogarth
01-20-2012, 12:48 PM
Can't help you, but I'd like to know if McDonald's up there has McPoutine? I think that would be great.
I've seen "poutine" (don't know if it's made with real cheese curds) at Burger King, Harvey's, Dairy Queen and KFC (I think). Not McDonalds, though.

EDIT: A quick Google reveals that some McDonalds restaurants in Canada have served poutine. It's not ringing any bells with me, though.

Bryan Ekers
01-20-2012, 12:48 PM
It's to offset the eventual cost to our public health-care system.

Dung Beetle
01-20-2012, 01:43 PM
If I could get the SO to go visit her relatives, I want to make a Spicy McHaggis Sandwich.

Hey, aren’t you the poster who always cooks amazing food for his roommate? Did you find the way to her heart was through her stomach?

Johnny L.A.
01-20-2012, 02:18 PM
I don't think she'd like a Spicy McHaggis Sandwich. She won't eat filtration units since she became a nurse. (And I tend to like things spicier than many people do.)

thelurkinghorror
01-20-2012, 03:32 PM
If I could get the SO to go visit her relatives, I want to make a Spicy McHaggis Sandwich.

It's been retired since 2003.



I don't know if this was the thread you saw (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=480510), but you'd have to compare across all McNugget prices in the two stores, as apparently McDonald's doesn't do bulk.

kushiel
01-20-2012, 03:37 PM
We have to make our McNuggets with chicken here - it's somewhat restrictive. :)

Wait, wait, are you making a joke, or do we really have more stringent standards for McNuggets? That would be awesome.

hogarth
01-20-2012, 03:42 PM
I don't know if this was the thread you saw (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=480510), but you'd have to compare across all McNugget prices in the two stores, as apparently McDonald's doesn't do bulk.
No, it was this post from the very recent "Can I take your order?" thread (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showpost.php?p=14685375&postcount=21).

But that's interesting; if the 10 piece McNuggets costs $4, then at least it's not one-third as cheap as the Canadian 10 piece. I think the Canadian 10 piece costs somewhere in the $5.50 to $6 range -- that's still expensive compared to the U.S., but not ridiculously so (no more so than U.S. vs. Canadian book and magazine prices, for instance).

Folly
01-20-2012, 03:44 PM
They've been on sale around here (Chicago) for 20 for $5 for awhile. Mmmmmm...mechanically separated chicken...

Leaffan
01-20-2012, 03:52 PM
News flash: Everything's more expensive in Canada compared to the US.

It probably has to do with a combination of taxes, lower volume demand, higher transportation costs, and in some cases, for food, a quota system that limits production and inflates prices.

hogarth
01-20-2012, 04:02 PM
News flash: Everything's more expensive in Canada compared to the US.
Indeed....but my point is that McNuggets are relatively more expensive in Canada than other items on the menu.

It probably has to do with a combination of taxes, lower volume demand, higher transportation costs, and in some cases, for food, a quota system that limits production and inflates prices.
Chicken taxes? Chicken quotas? Higher chicken transportation? Why am I just hearing about these now?

The volume demand thing sounds like a chicken-and-egg problem: they're expensive because they're unpopular, and they're unpopular because they're expensive.

Leaffan
01-20-2012, 04:15 PM
Well, there is a poultry quota (http://agr.gc.ca/poultry/regimp_eng.htm) system in Canada.

Canada's poultry and eggs industry operates under an orderly marketing system which is designed to match the supply with the demand.

Of course taxes come into play; provincial and federal.

Transportation is by truck, which typically requires fuel, which is taxed way higher than the US, so of course transportation is more expensive.

As for demand, I meant the US has 10 times the population, therefore probably 10 times the demand.

Cat Whisperer
01-20-2012, 06:25 PM
Wait, wait, are you making a joke, or do we really have more stringent standards for McNuggets? That would be awesome.
Some of column A, some of column B - I have heard that we have different standards for fast-food ingredients than in the US, but that's pretty much anecdotal. I'd have to do more research on that.

ETA: Here's an article that sort of addresses this (but not specifically fast food). (http://balanceoffood.typepad.com/balance_of_food/2011/05/harmony-not-good-when-canadas-food-standards-are-lowered-to-us-level.html)

sqweels
01-20-2012, 06:45 PM
The volume demand thing sounds like a chicken-and-egg problem:
Are you comparing McNuggets with McMuffins? :confused:

Vinyl Turnip
01-20-2012, 07:20 PM
It's to offset the eventual cost to our public health-care system.

Or to reduce the strain on it, by discouraging the consumption of McNuggets?

TBG
01-20-2012, 08:08 PM
They've been on sale around here (Chicago) for 20 for $5 for awhile.

That's the price (well 4.99) on the sign of the one nearest to my home as well.

I used to love them so much, but they've really gotten worse and worse in recent years to the point where I don't even crave them anymore.

Antigen
01-20-2012, 09:01 PM
I've seen "poutine" (don't know if it's made with real cheese curds) at Burger King, Harvey's, Dairy Queen and KFC (I think). Not McDonalds, though.

EDIT: A quick Google reveals that some McDonalds restaurants in Canada have served poutine. It's not ringing any bells with me, though.

I remember it. It sucked. The extreme saltiness of the fries, topped with an extremely salty gravy, made it almost inedible. Besides, those crisp skinny fries are ALL WRONG for poutine. I need to see if I can talk the manager of the nearest Five Guys to experiment with poutine on the menu. He would make millions.

Cat Whisperer
01-20-2012, 09:26 PM
As far as I can tell, the ingredients aren't significantly different between the US and Canada -

USA: (http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf)
Chicken McNuggets® (10 piece):
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch.

CANADA: (http://ask.metafilter.com/10070/Chicken-Nuggets)
Ingredients:
Chicken meat, water, modified corn starch, salt, chicken broth powder (chicken broth, salt and natural chicken flavouring), seasoning [(vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), extracts of rosemary, mono,di and triglycerides (from sunflower oil) and soy lecithin)]. Breaded with: water, wheat flour, yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, salt, baking powder, spices (white and black pepper, celery seed), wheat starch, whey powder, sodium aluminum phosphate, corn starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (manufacturing aid) and cooked in 100% vegetable shortening [Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (corn and/or soybean and/or canola oil), cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, monogylceride citrate and propyl gallate added to protect flavour, propylene glycol.]

It must be the packaging, then - we use really expensive cardboard here.

Captain Amazing
01-20-2012, 10:50 PM
The big difference is, in the US, they use white boneless chicken. In Canada, they use chicken meat. That's what you're paying for

Implicit
01-20-2012, 10:58 PM
The chicken and most of the rest of what's in the nuggets is really corn. 56% corn (http://alnyethelawyerguy.com/al_nye_the_lawyer_guy/2007/03/so_what_really_.html), according to Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Corn is massively subsidized in the US.

Leaffan
01-20-2012, 10:58 PM
The big difference is, in the US, they use white boneless chicken. In Canada, they use chicken meat. That's what you're paying for

No. Our countries have differing requirements for reporting of ingredients. I'd be totally and utterly amazed if nuggets were different between our shared boarders.

You think McDonalds wouldn't have figured this out by now?

Am I being whooshed?

thelurkinghorror
01-20-2012, 11:20 PM
No. Our countries have differing requirements for reporting of ingredients. I'd be totally and utterly amazed if nuggets were different between our shared boarders.

You think McDonalds wouldn't have figured this out by now?

Am I being whooshed?

I remember seeing some sort of pet food's ingredient lists, which included several languages. Interestingly, it had separate sections marked by the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. The UK ingredients were much more vague and concise, e.g. "natural/artificial flavourings" vs. US "natural apple, pear, and cherry flavorings."

nikonikosuru
01-20-2012, 11:22 PM
For the poutine person, FWIW I remember seeing an ad at a McDonald's in Toronto advertising it. This was back in 2002-ish. It looked too gross to me but now I wish I had the guts to try it. :)

hogarth
01-21-2012, 10:41 AM
No. Our countries have differing requirements for reporting of ingredients. I'd be totally and utterly amazed if nuggets were different between our shared boarders.
At the very least, the ingredient list above says that U.S. McNuggets are made with safflower oil and Canadian McNuggets are made with soybean/canola oil. That sounds believable to me; safflower oil doesn't seem very common in Canada, at least compared to canola oil.

thelurkinghorror
01-21-2012, 12:07 PM
Those Canadians love their rape.

John Mace
01-21-2012, 12:16 PM
Those Canadians love their rape.

They're all bad seeds.

Cat Whisperer
01-21-2012, 01:58 PM
Those Canadians love their rape.
You should see it in harvest season - field after field of endless rape.

ETA: We're early, guys - I think February is Rape Month around here.

Zeke N. Destroi
01-22-2012, 08:34 PM
Some of column A, some of column B - I have heard that we have different standards for fast-food ingredients than in the US, but that's pretty much anecdotal. I'd have to do more research on that.

I worked for a vac-truck company about 8 years ago and one day we went to do some work at the Simplot potato processing plant in Portage La Prarie. The management guy that gave us the tour said that none of the fries/hashbrowns they made for McDonalds would be served in Canada. They were all destined for IIRC Florida and New York. He said the product didn't meet Canadian standards but was fine for the U.S.

I have no independant confirmation of this.

It was one of the nicer plants I've seen though.

Zeke

RickJay
01-22-2012, 09:59 PM
The chicken and most of the rest of what's in the nuggets is really corn. 56% corn (http://alnyethelawyerguy.com/al_nye_the_lawyer_guy/2007/03/so_what_really_.html), according to Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Corn is massively subsidized in the US.
This, and the fact that chicken is a protected industry in Canada.

Almost any difference in food prices between the two countries can be explained by the interference of government.

Jormungandr
01-22-2012, 10:29 PM
For the past 2 months, the special here has been 50 for $9.99.

hogarth
01-22-2012, 11:49 PM
This, and the fact that chicken is a protected industry in Canada.

Almost any difference in food prices between the two countries can be explained by the interference of government.
But why hasn't the price of a McChicken shot up just as much? Or maybe it's just because there's less chicken in a McChicken than in a 6 pack of McNuggets.

TBG
01-23-2012, 06:15 PM
For the past 2 months, the special here has been 50 for $9.99.

50? By Col. Sanders' beard, who couldst devour that much chicken?

thelurkinghorror
01-23-2012, 06:51 PM
50? By Col. Sanders' beard, who couldst devour that much chicken?

Don't worry, it's only 35% chicken. Jormungandr might be able to eat it all, but I think the big-scale devouring is by his bud Fenrir.

JpnDude
01-25-2012, 12:04 AM
In Japan, McDonald's usually only sells a 5-piece for 270 yen (US$3.47). However, lately they have been testing new sauces such as "Cream Ranch Dressing" and "Buffalo Spicy Sauce" and selling the same 5-packs for 100 yen (US$1.29). FTR, the usual sauces available in Japan are barbecue and hot mustard. Wish they had honey. Loved that when I was a kid.

MacCat
01-26-2012, 04:23 PM
Those Canadians love their rape.Is it pronounced differently than the felony? I've seen it in print over the years, but don't remember hearing it...

gregorio
01-26-2012, 04:37 PM
Yes.

Canola.

And no. Rapeseed is pronounced exactly the way you think. Or is it Rape seed?

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