McDonald’s latest move sums up its wretched cultural imperialism

Fast food restaurant McDonald’s has long come under attack from anti-globalization campaigners for its homogenizing effect on global food systems, cityscapes, and local cultures. The marketing of its unhealthy and potentially addictive foods – especially to children – has also been criticized by public health advocates. Now, its marketing techniques seem to have become a bizarre caricature of the company’s own worst features.

Typical manipulative marketing and cultural appropriation

On 6 June, McDonald’s in the US unveiled its new ‘International Currency Exchange’. Customers will be able to use foreign currency to purchase four new items on its so-called ‘Worldwide Favorites’ menu at participating US McDonald’s stores. This new menu includes the supposedly Dutch delicacy ‘Stroopwaffel McFlurry’ and a purportedly Spanish dish named the ‘Grand Extreme Bacon Burger’.

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