Short squeeze

McDonald’s is running out of ketchup in Argentina

February 4, 2014
February 4, 2014

In Argentina, McDonald’s is running short of ketchup. And pretty much everyone has noticed.

“I was just told at McDonald’s there’s no ketchup because it’s stuck at customs,” one fast food goer remarked on Twitter this past Saturday.

Hordes of Argentines took to social media to share their despair. The company’s Facebook page is freighted with comments asking about the shortage. And the condiment deficiency isn’t a one, two, or three store coincidence; McDonald’s is, plainly put, having trouble keeping ketchup at its 200+ stores in Argentina. The restaurant chain admitted as much, and apologized for it, on Twitter yesterday.

The ketchup shortage at our local branches is momentary and we hope to solve it as soon as possible. We’re bringing in other sauces to replace it while we try to fix the problem.

It’s unclear what exactly is causing the supply problems. But a tumbling Argentine peso, the country’s shrinking supply of valuable US dollars, and rising inflation has been making it increasingly difficult to import foreign goods. There’s some suggestion that McDonald’s is having trouble importing the condiment from neighboring Chile, where ketchup is packaged for the entire region (link in Spanish). McDonald’s has refused to comment outside of its statements via Twitter.

But clearly some Argentines see the ketchup conundrum as an outgrowth of president Cristina Kirchner’s currency controls regime, which the government undertook in an attempt to prop up the feeble peso.

“Not with ketchup, Cristina. Not with ketchup,” a local tweeted yesterday afternoon.

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