A Hamburger Today

New $12 Burger Lands at McDonald's in Switzerland...or Does It?

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[Photograph: McDonald's Switzerland]

There's a new burger at McDonald's in Switzerland. It's called "The Prime" and it'll set you back 10.90 Swiss Francs (CHF). That's expensive even by Swiss standards.

Most US coverage of The Prime immediately brands the new item as a "$12 burger", which is both alarming and misleading. A better way to break down the cost of the new burger is comparing it to a Big Mac, in local currency. According to the latest Big Mac Index, a Big Mac costs 6.5 CHF in Switzerland (about $7.37 US), which makes The Prime 60 percent more expensive. That's still significant, but in US terms, that would be more like us paying $7.39 (based on a 60 percent increase on the $4.62 base price of a Big Mac, domestically).

So, what do you get for 10.90 CHF? Just over 6 ounces of beef topped with "traditional mountain cheese" bacon, coleslaw, arugula and sauce, that, according to the Google translation of the copy from this Italian language advertisement, you will "forgive even a stain".

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[Photograph: McDonald's Switzerland]

The burger is part of a new Signature Line developed by René Schudel, a TV cooking show host. Other items in the premium line-up include new thick-cut potato chips and three deli-style salads.

So far, feedback on McDonald's Switzerland's Facebook page has been mixed. Many people are complaining about the price, along with noting the burger lacks sauce and the new fries taste like cardboard. Side-note: the Bing translations of the comments are shaky, but weirdly amusing. Browse through them and you'll hit gems like these:

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The burger is fine, could do with but a little more sauce. The Burger von ShakeShack remain no. 1.

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So I combined dandelion with cheese getting and the sauce might be even a little intense, I found very bland.

Despite the misleading headlines, the debut of the Signature Line in Switzerland represents an effort to bring higher quality food to the market (with prices to match). Whether or not that's what customers actually want... time will tell.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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