Why Japan Is Going Through A McDonald's 'French Fry War'

French fries are served in nearly bottomless quantities in restaurants such as Five Guys and supposedly McDonald's, that is, until now. Japan is currently going through a "french fry war." Though that wording might sound a little pessimistic, the entire situation isn't completely negative.

The root of the "war" started in December 2021, due to a weather stoppage in Vancouver, Canada, which is a key port that McDonald's french fries pass through in order to get to Japan. As a result, the country's McDonald's had so few fries to serve, that on Christmas Eve, people could only buy the menu item in the smallest size. Though this was changed on January 9 to "smaller portions," the shortage still impacts 2,900 stores nationwide, as well as their customers who just want to get their fry fix.

These supply chain issues caused fans to start calling themselves "poteto nanmin" or potato refugees (via The Mainichi).

A war of french fry love

More recently, however, other Japanese-sourced brands began competing with one another to make up for the shortage of McDonald's french fries. This then created the "war" between fry suppliers, who promised to "satisfy their [poteto nanmin] potato needs." This was the goal of Freshness Burger, a brand under Colowide Co., who stated that they would increase their french fry portions by 25% until February 27 (via The Mainichi).

Yet, if Freshness Burger's Hokkaido-grown potatoes don't appeal to the desires of the fry-deprived McDonald's fans, they certainly have a lot of other choices. Ministop Co. offered triple-sized french fry buckets starting January 14, which is both a financially safe and mouth-watering deal.

But all of this competition is really in good faith, with one post calling it a "welcome war for lovers of french fries." So if you're a true french fry enthusiast, maybe this whole potato war isn't really a bust.