The upcoming Olympics will welcome athletes and spectators of all races, nations and creeds to London. With a record number of athletes expected to attend, the Summer Games will be the largest, most inclusive event in human history. That openness won’t extend to french fries.
Because of an exclusive sponsorship deal with McDonald’s, none of the other 800 food retailers on the grounds of 40 Olympic sites will be allowed to sell “chips or french fries” during the fortnight of the Games. It’s part of a contract with the American fast-food giant that gives it exclusivity in the market.
Want Burger King? Take the tube far, far away from an Olympic site. Prefer the thicker, sea-salt shaken fries from Wendy’s? You’ll have to wait until Aug. 13. The only exception is for vendors selling fish and chips, because it wouldn’t be a British Olympics without fried cod and potatoes wrapped in a newspaper. Because that dish is the United Kingdom’s lone delicacy, fish and chips are exempt from the ban, provided you order both the fish and the chips. No solo chips for the anti-pescetarians out there.
Only McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Heineken will be allowed to sell branded food at the Olympics. The rest will come from local vendors and restaurants.
You may view this as another sign of capitalism at its worst or the crass pull of consumerism on the Olympic movement. Blah, blah, blah. There are worse things than not being exposed to British french fries. At least McDonalds’ are delicious.