Big Mac
The Big Mac is a hamburger
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll...

 sold by McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

, an international fast food restaurant
Fast food restaurant
A fast food restaurant, also known as a Quick Service Restaurant or QSR within the industry itself, is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by its fast food cuisine and by minimal table service...

 chain. It is one of the company's signature products. It consists of two 1.6 oz (45.4 g) beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 patties, special "Mac" sauce (a relish
A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item which is typically used as a condiment.In North America, relish commonly alludes to sweet pickle relish-like sauce that often condiments hot dogs, hamburgers and other types of fast food.-Description and ingredients:The item...

 variant), iceberg lettuce, American cheese
American cheese
American cheese is a processed cheese. It is orange, yellow, or white in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, and melts easily. American cheese was originally only white, but is usually now modified to yellow. In the past it was made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby...

, pickles
Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

, and onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

s, served in a three part sesame
Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods....

 seed bun.


The Big Mac was created by Jim Delligatti, one of Ray Kroc
Ray Kroc
Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc was an American fast food businessman who joined McDonald's in 1954 and built it into the most successful fast food operation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a fortune during his lifetime...

's earliest franchisees, who was operating several restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. The Big Mac first debuted at Delligatti's Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Uniontown is a city in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh and part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. Population in 1900, 7,344; in 1910, 13,344; in 1920, 15,692; and in 1940, 21,819. The population was 10,372 at the 2010 census...

 restaurant in 1967 at a selling price of 45 cents. It was designed to compete with a similar Big Boy
Big Boy (restaurant)
Big Boy is a restaurant chain with its headquarters in Warren, Michigan.Big Boy was started in 1936 by Bob Wian, in partnership with Arnold Peterson in Glendale, California, USA. Marriott Corporation bought the chain in 1967...

 sandwich. The sandwich was so popular that it was added to the menu of all U.S. restaurants in 1968. One of its most distinctive features is a middle slice of bread ("club" layer) used to stabilize contents and prevent spillage.

The Big Mac is known worldwide and is often used as a symbol of American capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

 has used it as a reference point for comparing the cost of living in different countries — the Big Mac Index
Big Mac index
The Big Mac Index is published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity between two currencies and provides a test of the extent to which market exchange rates result in goods costing the same in different countries...

 — as it is so widely available and is comparable across markets. This index is sometimes referred to as Burgernomics.

Special sauce

The name was popularized by a 1974 advertising campaign featuring a list of the ingredients in a Big Mac: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun."

Big Mac Sauce is delivered to McDonald's restaurants in sealed canisters designed by Sealright, from which it is meant to be directly dispensed using a special calibrated "sauce gun" that dispenses a specified amount of the sauce for each pull of the trigger. Its design is similar to a caulking gun.


The earliest instances of McDonald's utilizing advertising for the sandwich were mainly print ads, and a TV ad where Hoyt Axton
Hoyt Axton
Hoyt Wayne Axton was an American country music singer-songwriter, and a film and television actor. He became prominent in the early 1960s, establishing himself on the West Coast as a folk singer with an earthy style and powerful voice. As he matured, some of his songwriting efforts became well...

 sings "The Ballad Of Big Mac" which aired in 1969.

Two all beef patties slogan

The Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun concept for the jingle was created by Charles Rosenberg, Creative Supervisor of the Dan Nichols team at Needham, Harper and Steers, Chicago. Originally, the ingredients appeared as a one-word heading for a McDonald's ad developed for college newspapers. The words were then set to music created by Mark Vieha, who performed the original jingle. Rosenberg's advertising concept was to purposely turn the ingredients into a tongue twister. The jingle first appeared in a TV commercial titled "In a Word" developed by Dan and the advertising agency team. The first run of commercials ran only a year and a half, going off the air in 1976, but its popularity remained beyond its TV life. Subsequent to the jingle, McDonald's followed up with a promotion based on its customers spontaneously having a "Big Mac Attack".

Many franchisees in the United States ran promotions during the original campaign that awarded a free burger to customers who could recite the slogan within a specified time (usually two or three seconds). One example of its success, was that the McDonald's operators in New York City ran out of Big Mac buns. McDonald's Australia emulated this promotion in the mid-1980s, and some Brazilian McDonald's around the same time (only offering a free glass of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 instead), in the Portuguese version, which goes as "Dois hambúrgueres, alface, queijo, molho especial, cebola e picles num pão com gergelim".

The slogan soon led to a shaggy dog joke that had as its punchline "two obese Patties, Special Ross, Lester Cheese, picking bunions on a Sesame Street bus".

In 2003, McDonald's revived the phrase. In an English-language ad from McDonald's international "i'm lovin' it" campaign, a rapper rapidly spouts off the trademark in the background music. Also in 2003, American Greetings
American Greetings
American Greetings Corporation, Inc. is the world's largest publicly-traded greeting card company. It is based in Brooklyn, Ohio and sells paper greeting cards, electronic greeting cards, party products , and electronic expressive content...

 and Carlton Cards
Carlton Cards
Carlton Cards Limited is a Canadan greeting card company. Their lines of cards include Carlton, Gibson and Tender Thoughts. They also distribute the American Greetings line of cards in Canada. This is not to be confused with Carlton Cards Retail, Inc.....

 released a Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 ornament of a Big Mac, on which the slogan was both printed and played aloud by pulling on a string. Roy Bergold, National Advertising Manager at McDonald's, has a big hand in championing the original campaign and helping to bring it back.

In 2008, the phrase was revived by McDonald's Malaysia. The revival includes the original prize of a free Big Mac if the customer is able to recite the phrase in under four seconds. This was released in May, along with the promotional Mega Mac, which has four beef patties rather than the standard two.

1980s advertising

In the early 1980s, as a promotional, McDonalds staged an in-house rivalry between their two most popular products. Consumers were invited to decide "Which one will be number one? Chicken McNuggets
Chicken McNuggets
Chicken McNuggets are a product offered by international fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's and are one of the most popular trademarked items on the McDonald's menu....

 or Big Mac sandwiches?". For every one of either that a customer bought, they received another of the same at half price. Later in the ad campaign, the second was offered for free. It was eventually announced that Big Mac was "number one".

2004–2005 advertising

In 2005, McDonald's began offering product placement
Product placement
Product placement, or embedded marketing, is a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, music videos, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the...

 rewards to hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

 artists who namechecked
Name-dropping is the practice of mentioning important people or institutions within a conversation, story, song, online identity, or other communication. The term often connotes an attempt to impress others; it is usually regarded negatively, and under certain circumstances may constitute a breach...

 the Big Mac in their music, giving US$5 to the artist for every time a song mentioning the hamburger was played on the radio. This offer quickly spawned a satirical reference from hip hop artist Mad Skillz, who references the marketing ploy in his track "2005 Wrap Up" by stating "And I'm beefin' wit' Mickey D's man, y'all dead wrong, Talkin' 'bout payin' rappers to mention Big Macs in their song, We do rap from the heart, y'all better have some respect, Alright, Big Mac! Big Mac! Big Mac! Now where's my check?"


  • The Mega Mac or Double Big Mac – four 1.6 oz (45.4 g) beef patties and an extra slice of cheese. Available in Australia, China, Ireland, Japan, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore,Pakistan and Thailand (known as the Double Big Mac). Discontinued in New Zealand; limited availability in the United States, though commonly available in Canada (marketed as a Double Big Mac).
  • Monster Mac – eight 1.6 oz (45.4 g) beef patties and extra cheese. Discontinued in Germany.
  • The McKinley-Mac – made with two quarter pound patties. Named after Mount McKinley
    Mount McKinley
    Mount McKinley or Denali in Alaska, United States is the highest mountain peak in North America and the United States, with a summit elevation of above sea level. It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.- Geology and features :Mount McKinley is a granitic pluton...

     in Alaska, and sold only in that state. Also known as the Bigger Big Mac as a limited-time offer product to celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup
    2006 FIFA World Cup
    The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

  • In India, where the high Hindu
    Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

     population means that beef is not common, the Big Mac was renamed the Maharaja Mac and was originally made with lamb instead of beef; however, along with the company's other items it is now made from chicken.
  • Son of Mac – Also known as the Mini Mac or Baby Mac, a version with only one patty and no centre roll piece. It sold as a Baby Mac in New Zealand, Was sold in Australia, now discontinued. Served by some stores in the United States under the moniker "Mac Jr".
  • In Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    , a special Kosher
    Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

     version of the Big Mac is served without cheese.
  • In Japan, there was a variant with egg, called the Mega Tamago, as well as a variant with tomato (called the Mega Tomato). Both versions dropped one patty and replaced it with the respective ingredient. Now discontinued.
  • In France there is a now a whole wheat bread
    Whole wheat bread
    Whole wheat bread is a type of bread that is made using flour which is partly or entirely made from whole or almost whole wheat grains, see whole wheat flour and whole grain. It is one kind of brown bread. Synonyms or near-synonyms for whole wheat bread elsewhere in the world are whole grain bread...

     version of the Big Mac. All other ingredients remain unchanged.
  • The MacSnack Wrap, introduced in the US and Canada in 2010, is one hamburger patty with the sandwich's other standard ingredients in a tortilla wrapper.

McDonaldland character

In addition to the McDonald's signature hamburger, Big Mac was the name of a character in McDonaldland
McDonaldland was a fantasy world used in the marketing for McDonald's restaurants. It was based on the "total concept and feel" of Sid and Marty Krofft's H.R. Pufnstuf television program. McDonaldland was inhabited by Ronald McDonald and other characters...

, the fictional world created as an advertising campaign for McDonald's. Big Mac was similar to Mayor McCheese, except he was the chief of police
Chief of police
A Chief of Police is the title typically given to the top official in the chain of command of a police department, particularly in North America. Alternate titles for this position include Commissioner, Superintendent, and Chief constable...

, wearing a constable uniform and sporting a large Big Mac for a head.

Health issues

In 1999 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, three Court of Appeal judges ruled that a diet consisting of high-fat McDonald's products may lead to heart disease.

Nutritional values

In the United States, the Big Mac has 540 kcal
Food energy
Food energy is the amount of energy obtained from food that is available through cellular respiration.Food energy is expressed in food calories or kilojoules...

 (2,340 kJ), 29 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. In Australia, the burger is slightly smaller with 493 kcal (2,060 kJ) and 26.9 grams of fat, but similar amounts of protein with 25.1 grams, while the Mexican burger tops out the scales at 600 kcal and 33 grams of fat.
Comparisons of the Big Mac standard nutritional values in different countries (% = % of recommended daily allowance)
Country Energy Carbohydrates Protein Fat (total)' Dietary fiber Sodium, Salt Serving
495 kcal 42g (14%) 24g (32%) 26g (47%) 2.5g (10%) 1083 mg (45%) 202g .ar
493 kcal 35.1g (11%) 25.1g (50%) 26.9g (38%) 958 mg (42%)
495 kcal 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 1023 mg (43%), 2300 mg (46%)
504 kcal 41g (14%) 25g (33%) 27g (49%) 3.5g (14%) 1023 mg (43%) .br
540 kcal 44g (15%) 24g 29g (45%) 3g (12%) 1020 mg (43%) 209g .ca
555 kcal 57g 27g 28g 1098 mg .cl
495 kcal 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 2300 mg (46%) 219g .hr
495 kcal (25%) 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 2300 mg (46%) 219g .cz
497 kcal 43g 27.1g 24.1g 219g .dk
522 kcal 28.235g 25.911g .eg
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg 219g .fi
492 kcal 38.9g 26.2g 25.8g 4.2g 900 mg, 2300 mg .fr
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg 221g .de
490 kcal 42.5g 27g 24g 5g 2000 mg .gr
510 kcal 39g 25g 28g 870 mg   .hk
495 kcal (25%) 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 2300 mg (46%)   .hu
505 kcal 43g 27g 25g 4g .it
555 kcal 45.4g 25.4g 30.2g 2g .jp
484 kcal 46g 26g 23g 730 mg 209g .my
600 kcal 50g 25g 33g 4g 1050 mg 219g .mx
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg .info
491 kcal (24%) 35.8 g (12%) 26.3 g (53%) 26.0 g (37%) 1080 mg (47%) 202 g .nz
495 kcal (25%) 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 2300 mg (46%) .no
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg .pl
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg .ro
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g .ru
493 kcal (25%) 40g (15%) 27g (36%) 25g (37%) 3g (12%) 2300 mg (46%) 219g .rs
559 kcal 49.3g 27.7g 24.89g 4.6g 801.98 mg .za
535 kcal 46g (14%) 27g (45%) 29g (57%) 750 mg (22%) 219g .kr
500 kcal 42g 26g 26g 3g 2400 mg 219g .se
495 kcal 40g 27g 25g 3g 2300 mg .info
480 kcal 43g 28g 22g 840mg
490 kcal (25%) 41 g (15%) 28 g (37%) 24 g (36%) 4 g (16%) 2100 mg (42%) .uk
540 kcal (27%) 45 g (15%) 25 g (45%) 29 g (45%) 3 g (13%) 1040 mg (43%) 214 g .us

See also

  • Don Gorske
    Don Gorske
    Donald A. Gorske of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin is an American world record holder and "Big Mac enthusiast". He is best known for having eaten over 25,000 Big Mac hamburgers from the U.S. fast food chain McDonald's in his lifetime, subsequently winning a place in the 2006 Guinness Book of Records. He...

  • List of sandwiches

Similar products by other fast food chains:
  • Big King
  • Big Boy, by the namesake restaurant
    Big Boy (restaurant)
    Big Boy is a restaurant chain with its headquarters in Warren, Michigan.Big Boy was started in 1936 by Bob Wian, in partnership with Arnold Peterson in Glendale, California, USA. Marriott Corporation bought the chain in 1967...

  • Bonus Jack
    Bonus Jack
    The Bonus Jack is a hamburger sold by the fast-food restaurant chain Jack in the Box. It was one of the company's signature products. The Bonus Jack was first released in 1970...

  • Quick's
    Quick (restaurant chain)
    Quick is a Belgian chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. It is one of Europe's largest restaurants chains. In recent years, its worldwide expansion has accelerated.Quick is similar in theme to McDonald's...

  • Big Shef
  • Kmart Chef's Big K
  • Burger King
    Burger King
    Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain...

    's or Hungry Jack's
    Hungry Jack's
    Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd, often colloquially abbreviated to HJ's, Hungry's or Hungie's, is the exclusive Australian master fast food franchisee of Burger King Corporation. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Foods Australia, a privately held company owned by Jack Cowin...

    The Whopper sandwich is the signature hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jacks. Introduced in 1957, it has undergone several reformulations including resizing and bread changes...

External links

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