Why Some Countries Don't Have McDonald's, From Iceland to Bolivia


McDonald's recently introduced a daring ad campaign across France, using only "unbranded"  photos of their iconic offerings to reach consumers. Knowing their fries and burgers are recognizable by a large population of the world, the company acknowledged that their products no longer need an introduction.

At least, that's what most of us think who live in places where Mickey D's signage can be seen and heard every where, from a billboard on the highway to a radio commercial. But, believe it or not: Life without McDonald's does exist.



The above infographic demonstrates that while the chain is a clear leader in the industry, you won't be able to find a McDonald's in 105 countries around the globe, such as Bermuda, Iceland and Ghana. While specific reasons for the chain's absence varies from region to region, many times it's due to poorer economies and the speculation that citizens won't have enough income to become regular customers.

"If you want a definition of what the rich world and the poor world are, well, if you can get a McDonald's, you are in the rich world," Miguel Centeno, a sociologist at Princeton University, told The Salt. "If you look at where these restaurants are located, it doesn't map on to culture; it maps on to money."


Or, in the case of Bolivia, McDonald's did make a temporary appearance but was shut down due to politics. The Bolivian President Evo Morales rallied against the fast food chain and others like it:

The major multinational food companies seek to control the production of food and to dominate global markets by imposing their customs and foods. The only goal of such producers is to generate profits. So they standardize food and drinks, turning them into global foods produced on a massive scale with the same formula. They are not interested in the health of human beings, only in their earnings and corporate profits.

While a lack of major fast food restaurants might seem like an unimaginable scenario to most folks, it's actually pretty refreshing to know the mega-hitters haven't totally taken over the world. Yet.

H/T + PicThx NPR