Small fries, please

A McDonalds meal in Japan is shrinking, thanks to a shortage of fries caused by a US port dispute. Photo: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg
A McDonalds meal in Japan is shrinking, thanks to a shortage of fries caused by a US port dispute. Photo: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

A shortage of frozen potato imports from the US has forced McDonald’s Japan to limit orders of French fries at its 3,100 outlets to small portions. The rationing, McDonald’s reasons, will allow it to keep fries on the menu, albeit in limited amounts. This is portion control, of course, but not for the usual reasons of counting calories and minding cholesterol levels.

The great French fry famine is caused by severe delays at container ports along the US West Coast because of labour unrest since October. According to a US Potato Board official, port congestion has doubled transit times for shipments of fries to Japan from two to four weeks.

As American dockworkers, terminal operators and shipping lines continue their protracted negotiations, it’s not clear when it will be business as usual again. Who would have thought it, but clearly labour disputes can be slimming.

Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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