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Redditor Unveils the 1959 McDonald’s Menu and Its Surprising Price Changes Over Time

Popular beverages like soda and coffee were priced at just 10 cents
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by  Polina Tankilevitch
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

The world has changed tremendously over the past few decades. The change has been seen in every aspect with technology and economy being the flag bearer of the massive transformation. The world has seen new sources of money-making come up as well as how the price for different items has been growing over decades. The cost associated with everything, be it accommodation, food, or clothing has increased multifold. And it takes a hit for the people when the cost of such necessities increases. The hit can be a bigger one if you see how a food item that one likes a lot has priced up over the last 8 decades. Recently, a Reddit user MeeraQuereshi posted about the prices of McDonald's in the 1950s and the post has been going viral.

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Pavel Danilyuk
Woman gorging on a McDonald's burger | Pexels | Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest food outlets chain with a presence in more than 100 countries across the globe. The brand currently operates more than 40,000 outlets. The brand was first conceptualized in 1948 in the form of a drive-through restaurant specializing in burgers and milkshakes. With a very humble beginning, and just one outlet in Los Angeles, McDonald’s has come a long way to become the mammoth it is now. It started gaining popularity since it offered meals at lower prices and faster services as compared to other restaurants out there. The idea was simple, prepare the burgers ahead of the customers' visits, and keep them warm using heat lamps, so that they can be delivered as soon as customers order for them.

The Golden Arches logo of the fast food restaurant McDonald's is illuminated above the door, on November 18, 2023 in Bristol, England. Founded in 1940, American multinational fast food chain McDonald's Corporation, best known for its Big Mac hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, is the world's largest fast food restaurant chain.|Getty Images| Photo by Matt Cardy
The Golden Arches logo of the fast food restaurant McDonald's is illuminated above the door | Getty Images | Photo by Matt Cardy

The popular McDonald’s triple-thick shakes just cost 20 cents in the 1990s. Currently, the shakes start at $1.30 and reach up to $4 for some of the thicker ones. Fries are something that one can never miss when at McDonald’s. The fries back then cost just 10 cents and were available in a single size. Now the scenario has completely changed. Fries are available in multiple sizes with the smallest one being priced at $1.9 and the biggest one being close to $4. Per the menu shared by the Reddit user, even other popular beverages like soda and coffee were priced at just 10 cents, but the options were quite limited with no variety at all. In 2024, the McDonald’s menu has more than 20 drinks with different sizes to choose from and the costliest one going up to $4.

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Luis Rosero
McDonald’s drinks | Pexels | Photo by Luis Rosero

The Reddit post is creating a lot of engagement with more than 2000 upvotes as the internet crowd is going crazy with the way the past menus were made. Many folks are amazed by the level of simplicity and creativity demonstrated in the 90's menus. A user with the name Bumwine commented, “Full-flavor Orange Drink…In today’s marketing, this would sound highly suspect." Another user AvocadoIsGud commented, “Pure…tempting…THICK.” A few acknowledged how the cost of living has grown over time and it was quite natural and acceptable for McDonald’s to increase the prices of their food items.

A user with the name whatwhyme commented, “Inflation adjusting for this one is really easy. Just multiply all the prices x10 for 2023 monies. $1 fries and drinks, $2 shakes and cheeseburgers.” Some netizens even criticized McDonald's for increasing their price at such as fast pace despite an increased level of automation and much lesser on-ground-staff and degraded quality. User throw123454321purple commented, “I miss their shakes. I don’t know why the current ones taste so different. Probably corn syrup and other cheaper substitutes in the mix.” The McDonald’s 90s menu has hit the nostalgia for many and the Reddit post is going crazy.