Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who Has the Most Expensive Big Mac in the World?

The Big Mac Index is a way to analyze currencies and show how expensive countries are by comparing the price of a Big Mac worldwide. The 2009 index shows Switzerland with the highest priced Big Mac in the world. The price of a Swiss Big Mac is 58% higher than the cost of a Big Mac in the U.S. But thanks to this ad campaign, at least now we know why.

McDonald's in Switzerland only uses Swiss beef.


M'dame Jo said...

I think this version is interesting too...

Chantal said...

Yes, I have seen this before. Great follow up, thanks. At least we have high prices and high wages. I think prices are still a shock to most foreigners though, even if they are making higher wages. It's a mind set thing. If you're used to paying $3 for a burger and now have to pay $6 is still seems wrong. All about what you're used to.

M'dame Jo said...

(Blogger wasn't working last night so I couldn't answer! Gnnn. At least I had time to think.)

I can imagine than paying twice the price is a shock... That's probably very Swiss of me, but I feel a bit the opposite. First you should know that I eat fast food once every other year, really if I have no other choice. A swiss McDonald's cheeseburger will only make me nauseous, while an American McDonald's cheeseburger will make me violently sick, so I'm not impartial... But when I see "cheeseburger $1.00", I can't help being grossed out and wonder what kind of meat can be in there for that price. For the record, I've also been violently sick after eating a cheeseburger in Prague ;-)

On a more serious note... High prices are not an issue, if everyone makes a lot of money, right? The weird thing about Switzerland is that basic stuff like food, health, and housing are expensive, while the useless stuff is quite cheap. VAT on luxury products, electronics, etc. is low and prices are lower than most of Europe where taxes are around 20% and up. So if you make a decent living, you can buy comparatively more useless stuff, but if you have a low paid job, you're probably going to struggle more. I agree it's not normal - I've lived with 15'000 a year long enough to know.

Also, the dollar has sunk in the last years. Prices haven't changed that much in either countries, but comparatively, it changes the perception. The same way it's not as cheap as it used to be to travel to Spain or Italy before the Euro... At least it did good the American tourism!

Chantal said...

Getting used to food in another country is a shock for any system. I had trouble adjusting to Swiss food (it's probably better for me, but when your body isn't used to it, it doesn't matter). Now when I go back to the U.S. I have issues with the food there.

I agree high prices are not as much of an issue if everyone makes more, but what you get for your money here is still not equal to what you can get elsewhere. I owned a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in the states and paid half the price of what my 2-bedroom, 1-bath Swiss apartment costs. Yes, I made less money in the states, but strangely enough, I could afford more.

M'dame Jo said...

Actually, in this case, it's more a matter of "what" rather than "where" for me. I've never been sick eating a real burger in a decent place in the US. And I've generally eating well in the US. Not cheap, but often really good. Fast food's crap everywhere.

I've lived in SF and in the Silicon Valley, where housing is not exactly cheaper than in Lausanne. Anything is really cheaper than in Lausanne there. Except Asian food. I realize it's not representative of the entire country and that it is (was?) one of the richest, hence most expensive, place on earth. But that and the amount of taxes paid, Switzerland actually seemed quite cheap!

M'dame Jo said...

I obviously didn't mean "Anything is really cheaper than in Lausanne there. Except Asian food." but "Nothing is really cheaper than in Lausanne there. Except Asian food."

Tina said...

Not sure this applies to all expats - but we definitely make way less money in in Switzerland then we did in the states and get paid in dollars not CHF. Makes things appear even more expensive!

Chantal said...

And the current exchange rates don't help either, if you're getting paid in $, that's for sure!

Stephersplatz said...

The most exensive Big Mac is actually in Norway. :-)

Still, though, I remember the first time I went into Starbucks and saw that it was 4.50 for a small coffee...sheesh...
I have a COLA living here, but I still get sticker shock everywhere I go.

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