To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, McDonald’s has unveiled the MacCoin, a limited edition global currency—one that has no cash value; isn’t a Bitcoin play; and is only redeemable for one free Big Mac at participating McDonald’s restaurants through the end of the year.
The MacCoin is “backed by the internationally iconic Big Mac that fans across the world can get their hands on starting August 2 to share, collect or redeem,” as McDonald’s notes in a press release.
On that day, customers can receive a MacCoin with the purchase of a Big Mac at 14,000 participating restaurants across the U.S., while supplies last. Starting on August 3 (and running through Dec. 31), customers can redeem one MacCoin for one free Big Mac at participating McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. and also in more than 50 participating countries.
More than 6.2 million MacCoins will be distributed globally in more than 50 countries while supplies last. These commemorative coins feature five unique designs, each representing a decade of the Big Mac. Each MacCoin design pulls in elements from that time in history, nodding to art, music and pop culture, while the front-side of the MacCoin celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.
The MacCoin design pays tribute to the early ’70s with a nod to hippiedom’s flower power; the ’80s (with pop art); the ’90s, with bold, abstract shapes; the early ’00s tech obsession; and the current decade of the ’10s, with a nod to the evolution of communication.
Seven languages are featured on the different designs to represent many of the countries participating: Arabic, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, French and Spanish.
In its first half-century, the legendary Big Mac has achieved universal recognition and a lasting legacy for McDonald’s. No matter where they live in the world, Big Mac fans recognize the two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun as the iconic burger with a flavor combination that’s just as craveable and delicious as the day it was introduced.
It has become such a global icon that The Economist even used the price of the Big Mac to create the Big Mac Index, an economic tool that compares the purchasing power of different international currencies year after year. This global connectivity of the Big Mac inspired the creation of the MacCoin.
“Since it was introduced at a family-owned McDonald’s restaurant 50 years ago, the Big Mac has traversed the globe and is enjoyed in cities from Shanghai to Chicago, providing delicious, feel good moments to people all over the world,” said McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook. “So we wanted a global celebration as unique as the burger itself. The MacCoin transcends currencies to commemorate our global iconic burger while giving customers all over the world a chance to enjoy a Big Mac on us.”
“When my great-grandfather Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac at his grill in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, he just wanted to make his local customers happy,” said Nick Delligatti, fourth-generation McDonald’s owner-operator and great-grandson of Jim Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac.
“August 2 would have been his 100th birthday, and I believe he would be very proud knowing his humble sandwich has made such a lasting impression that people all around the world can enjoy it wherever they find a McDonald’s.”