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Why McDonald's Failed In Iceland

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McDonald's is synonymous with fast-food in many parts of the world, but there is one country where it's failed to capture national attention. Iceland celebrated the fast-food chain when it entered in 1993, but a global economic collapse during the next 15 years forced McDonald's to exit the Nordic region. Watch this video to find out more. If you enjoyed learning about McDonald's struggles in Iceland check out our other videos: Why Did Walmart Fail In Brazil? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFPMUIT9seg Why Netflix Is Struggling In India https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO0FlrveCts Why 7-Eleven Failed In Indonesia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfGUJowHOPM Why Dunkin' Donuts Is Failing in India https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXXdcgchAVw » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #McDonalds Why McDonald's Failed In Iceland
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Text Comments (2660)
Bob Alan (23 minutes ago)
Brain washing and desensitizing words used in this clip.. like Internationalism, Globalism, and Global Economy... Not sure what there thinking... The United States is Sovereign as well as MANY other countries... and sovereign nations despise the fake pretty painted Mural of Globalism.
abloogywoogywoo (52 minutes ago)
Strange narrative. What does a greasy spoon restaurant have anything to do with Globalism trying to undermine a country's Nationalism? Take 2. Without the alien language please.
ABITUR SPANISCH (1 hour ago)
McDonald's also failed in Bolivia.
kierunkowskaz (2 hours ago)
Tariffs, perfect Brexit story
Terry Bardy (2 hours ago)
Stick to the Icelandic food and locally grown products.
Kamrul Hassan (2 hours ago)
At first I thought McDonald's failed because no one liked the taste of it's burgers. But it got to do more with Iceland's economic taste. Just wasted my time on it and made my burger cold !
Jj W (4 hours ago)
Hey could not unfreeze the Nuggets.
Friendly Metroid (5 hours ago)
4:46 Hey CNBC, if you hire me to be your editor, I will do proper 3:2 pulldowns on your content and not let such shameful artifacting through your workflow.
Halleloolahoop (8 hours ago)
Her voice sounds really familiar to me but I can't figure out why
Bobby Brady (8 hours ago)
Typical ignorant food snobs chiming in. Probably all fat too. Fat people are food experts. Just ask them.
Dixit Jain (8 hours ago)
Cause people there only eat 'ICE'! Duh
Columbus verɪfɪed (1 day ago)
Why is nationalism so bad?
Ryan Elgie (1 day ago)
There's a land without fascist Ronnie?
obi2020 (1 day ago)
Was hoping it was because Icelanders were like, “no thanks” 😏
Michael I. L. Friskey (1 day ago)
Thanks to the americam capitalism, everything is business. First they made junk food like mcdonalds that makes people fat and sick and then they force them to pay high hospital bills.
halo3odst (1 day ago)
Answer: not enough *MEAT*
private private (1 day ago)
mcdonald's corporation has enough money that they could have "walmarted" those franchises and rode out the economy slump at a loss by subsidizing the franchises until the stock market returned
frosty (1 day ago)
Good its horrible for people anyway
K.A. GORDON (1 day ago)
Nice how you show pics of cows when you say ingredients..now say fuktards and show humans.
K.A. GORDON (1 day ago)
Maybe it failed because its crap. I haven't been in one since 1981 and gee never ever wanted to go into that shithole again...same for all fast food crapstores. Maybe it failed because they arent as stupid as americans who want to be obese slobs.
chris74ify (1 day ago)
Good!,really crapy fast food any how..good bye crap food!
Twiggy Barrdust (2 days ago)
I remember eating at a McDonald's in Norway around 1999/2000, have they disappeared from Norway as well? It's been a long time, but I do remember the food being significantly different than what they served in the US.
Paul Cheek (2 days ago)
they have higher food standards
Aingell (2 days ago)
nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public
Patrick Connor (2 days ago)
When I went to KFC in Iceland the price for a family bucket was 50 dollars
Scott Robbins (14 hours ago)
$45 in america too...
Mike Anderson (3 days ago)
Couldn''t compete with McGunnarsson's.
Shahid Ali (3 days ago)
0:41 that's docklands canary wharf London
KuraIthys (3 days ago)
Must be awkward when you import most of your ingredients. I know in Australia most of the fast food places make a big deal out of using local ingredients... But at the end of the day that's easy in a country that produces at least 3.5 times as much food as it's own citizens require, and grows just about everything in existence from mangos to tomatoes to apples to... Did I mention that during the 1950's, beef was one of the cheapest food items you could get in this country? To this day there are a lot of cattle stations... Point is, you wouldn't see this here because the franchises, like many producers and shops that sell food, source the majority of their ingredients locally. Not always, sometimes imported ingredients are cheaper... But on the whole you can get pretty much anything locally other than certain very fussy crops like cacao, coffee and tea and such. And, because of the way this country is, sourcing locally is not only possible, and in many cases cheaper, but it's also good PR... Saying you're using Australian beef looks good. Then again, where else are you going to get it from in this part of the world? Just goes to show how much the circumstances of individual countries can affect the outcome. McDonalds in Iceland collapsed. McDonalds in Australia was the most profitable of anywhere in the world, and was doing well even when the franchise was struggling as a whole globally. Incidentally, Australia also had a dozen or more operating Blockbuster stores until 2016... And the second-last one in existence was in Perth. Meanwhile Starbucks is an abject failure in Australia because it can't compete with the extremely high expectations of Australia's coffee drinkers and it's existing cafes... Success in one place, is no guarantee you'll succeed somewhere else in the world. Failure in one place is also not a guarantee you'll fail elsewhere...
Worm Driver (3 days ago)
Because Iceland has common sense?
intuitiv.me (3 days ago)
Why would you source your supplies somewhere else if you can get it locally, cheaper and support local businesses? Not even mentioning the impact on the environment.
Peri Nestor (3 days ago)
Same thing in Greece,all close down.There is a Greek owned company,similar to mcdonald called Goodys,mc cant compete them,they serve souvlaki,hamburger,from other world,very tasty,Greek salads,and more.
ray bon (3 days ago)
For mc Donalds to work it needs to be comfort food. Meaning you need comfort from economic and social strife. Since that's prob absent in ice land it failed. They would had been better off opening a mc Donalds that sells electric blankets. Cause that would bring them comfort.
duke hungry (3 days ago)
4:45 that guy just handled my burger with his bare dirty hands not eating there no more oh it's closed 😵😵
yourmother (3 days ago)
Ate there every single day when i was studying in Tækniskólinn :( a piece of me died inside when i had to swap over to Metro.
Steve Murray (3 days ago)
McDonald's is focussed on black customers.
sea green (3 days ago)
Why not change the menu to accommodate ingredients at hand?
Jaeboy (3 days ago)
06:13 Iceland KFC uses simplified Chinese in their brandings?
Andrew Szucs (3 days ago)
McDonalds also failed in my country of Barbados way back in the 1980s because they did not have any chicken on the menu
Heru Affandy (3 days ago)
I think joining "the international monetary system", Iceland ppl lost money and savings, stolen by the "Great Thieves". To be honest, the idea of stable economic growth is a delusion.
dfguko (3 days ago)
Fast foods of any kind are unhealthy and only idiots eating that crap.
MMZXA 23 (1 day ago)
S Christy (4 days ago)
Sound like a win for the people of Iceland to me. I'm an American,but really a fast food person. But of all of them Mickey D's is the worst.I am not healthy by any means. If your going to eat something not great for you. White Castle. If you can get them.
theburners32141 (4 days ago)
There’s nothing wrong with the global community but everyone needs to carry their weight. You can’t blend 1st world with 3rd world countries.
c woolfork (4 days ago)
High tariffs.........gets you every time!
devast2 (4 days ago)
I think higher import tariffs would solve some problems here in the US as well
alheldezcz (4 days ago)
7:18 "iceland economy looking bright" shows Canada flag on the top right
Bear Tipton (3 days ago)
alheldezcz A great observation. You did not get distracted by visual of the skyscrapers.
user_mac01 (4 days ago)
McDonald's is crap, overpriced crap. You pay less for more burger at a Fish n Chips.
Ya'ara Adriana Vardi (4 days ago)
Go vegan
OCD Stig (4 days ago)
Because the soft serve machine failed...
Ken Jennings (4 days ago)
Darn. only external economic factors. I was hoping they were beaten by a local McWhaleBlubber quick serve restaurant.
Snow Bunneh (5 days ago)
So the country lacks a unethical corporation that doesn't even pay a living wage in many part of the world. More like good riddance.
Ian Mayes (5 days ago)
Iceland is a European COUNTRY, not state. It’s pretty simple.
Beyondthesky (2 days ago)
Ian Mayes hi Ian 👋. State doesn't mean the same as state in USA. State over here means nation-country. And country can mean the equivalent of state (such as Scotland)
Alfred Valrie (3 days ago)
Ian Mayes it’s a nation-state
* (5 days ago)
Because it’s no longer REAL FOOD. ICELAND, historically ate healthy. McDonald’s was my first job in America and back in the early 80’s it was different food. Then the greed came and now , at least in America, your eating dog food. Just watch FOOD INC. And yet, people live off this food and you see it in the obesities in America. Not even the French fries are any good. They add 13 different ingredients to them and if you think that salad is good for you , guess again. It has as much calories as a Big Mac and that don’t include the chemicals they add to it to keep it appealing. Cheap food = fat people. Well balanced and healthy food = slim and fit people
Martin West (5 days ago)
Crap or not, bottom line is shipping costs to Iceland are a killer.
mcstaal (5 days ago)
McDonald don't pay any taxes. It'a a international tax scam.
Paul Heywood (5 days ago)
australian prices aint far of those prices
Matt King (5 days ago)
The thing I hate about these Burger joints being all around the world is that people from other countries think this crap is American food. This is NOT American food. This is fast food. Big difference.
Adam Jad (6 days ago)
The first hamburger in the video looked gross.
Thefirstgalaxybeing (6 days ago)
So, McDonald's couldn't change the way they did business to keep their profits up? Poor management and sounds like a lot of excuse making blaming outside sources.
Lucas Layton (6 days ago)
Why is it expensive? Who wants to live in Iceland anyway?
Joann Monkey (6 days ago)
Because it's unhealthy food
Vet Doc (6 days ago)
McD probably killed more People then all wars together....i bet half of Diabetes, Strokes, Heartattacks in the US belongs to McD......
Cerise Jones (6 days ago)
My dad would be proud...
VK89000 XaLo (6 days ago)
Because there are not many people in Iceland
Ryan N (6 days ago)
Iceland isnt missing much, McDonalds is gross.
Moo Cow (6 days ago)
when someone cant pronounce titans..or speak properly its time to move on
Chris McMahon (6 days ago)
Stupid lazy producer uses stock footage of cities in North America, cornfields, container ports, etc , that are nowhere near Iceland.
-- (6 days ago)
its interesting how the number 1 bigmac is $4.99 for the meal in iceland when the sitdown is 30$ While in america its more like 5.99 with sitdown about 15dollars counting drink. imo mcdonalds needs to go down on prices :p
Agtsmirnoff (6 days ago)
2:04 lol why is the one guy where a University of Florida Football (American) Sweatshirt?
Chad Thundercock (6 days ago)
They should've sold alchohol
cosMICjester (6 days ago)
Stay Isolated don't buy into the globalism multicultural lie. Diversity isn't a strength, peoples are tribal diversity causes conflicts
Maninthebox (7 days ago)
Oh, so, importing all your raw materials wasn't a good business model??? No way! Good on them for stepping up and using local ingredients.
Baddrivercam (7 days ago)
Because they realize it's not really food. I mean even mold is smart enough to not eat it!
TheFourthWinchester (7 days ago)
Since when is nationalism is a bad thing? Propaganda videos are utter bs.
Gustavo Aragon (7 days ago)
Well thas was stupid. Believing that in order to be global you need to eat a mcdonald''s burger
GDplusEng (7 days ago)
They have failed here in Greece too, but the company won't admit it...
Jessica Wood (7 days ago)
$20-40 per person? Or is it the cost of a meal for 2?
dajaegers (7 days ago)
How can CNBC hire this narrator who says "cent" instead of "cents"? Ghetto as heck...
hArambe The INFINITE #daRealSosaBoi #OGfinessn (7 days ago)
McDonald's failed in Iceland because all they eat is ice
C&C Phx (8 days ago)
A blessing in disguise, now if we could rid ourselves of fast food here in the states we’d get somewhere
Bill Warren (8 days ago)
too bad that this -and the rejection of bailing out global banks in 2008/9- will probably be their only successes against multinational corporations and the global media.
PickleOnAStick Arts (8 days ago)
Iceland is a European COUNTRY, not state. It’s pretty simple.
Zuhayr Ali (2 days ago)
State can be used to refer to countries. Also Iceland is technically neither apart of Europe or North America. Both the Eurasian tectonic plate and the North American one run through Iceland. Split the country right down the middle.
SteamPunk (8 days ago)
The narrator has a significant speech impediment.
Leisure Larry (8 days ago)
I havnt been to mcduck in over a year, never again
I'm Elfo (8 days ago)
There is more than one country in Europe where McDonald's is not profitable. At least also Finland.
Alyas Pogi (8 days ago)
I'd been there twice, my Kids said it sucks cause it has no McDonald!!
BLAZE45 (8 days ago)
Why are you whispering? Lol
poodtang2 (8 days ago)
I heard that it was too expensive and cost prohibitive. Who's going to pay the equal of $15 U.S for a value meal.
Mazxlol (8 days ago)
Iceland dodged a bullet, mcdonalds is literally garbage with spices!
trinitysoul (8 days ago)
I'm seeing McDonalds in Tijuana disappear. So far I've seen 3
Red Dead Christine (8 days ago)
Because they wouldnt serve Hákarl and brennivín?? 🤣🤣 no worries, Iceland. Youre better off without that garbage. Can the commentator please say "centS?" We pluralize monetary values in the english language. Thanks.
andy99ish (8 days ago)
So I will never travel to Iceland. I could handle feminist radicals and volcanoes waiting to erupt under massive ice caps. But not the lack of healthy gourmet fast food.
Dexter Morgan (8 days ago)
In Iceland you have a 86% chance of sleeping with a cousin or relative without knowing it
Rodney Hamilton (6 days ago)
Same as Pakistan but they do it on purpose.
FAHEY (8 days ago)
Oh, Jews do the same. Typical problem with small populations which are endogamic, isolated from the rest of Humanity. Being in a small island or just marrying your own kind ends up being almost the same.
Tony IN SOUTHWARK (9 days ago)
A Trillion Bugers sold!! But I have never had one!
loganinkosovo (9 days ago)
The absence of Filet o' Rotten Whale Carcass sandwiches, more than likely.
deep citrus (6 days ago)
+Greatest Ever he isnt making the joke at the expense of the filet o fish, rather, the fact that a (well known? popular? need more info) dish in iceland is rotten shark meat known as "hákarl." at least i believe this is the case. thus, "they didnt like mcdonalds because there wasnt enough rotten meat." more or less.
Greatest Ever (6 days ago)
Nah filet o fish is fire
adr ian (7 days ago)
Jay Songz (9 days ago)
Maybe because the food is disgusting
Trav Sformer (9 days ago)
"There might be hope for McDonalds making a comeback". Could you have made it more obvious where your ad revenues are coming from, CNBC? Bonus info: The "Economic Freedom Index" isn't a particularly good indicator for people (even though they included the word "freedom" in it to make it sound better). "Freedom" is more in the sense of "financial deregulation", as in the freedom of large banks and corporations' to do as they please...
RZetlin (9 days ago)
Short Answer: High import food cost killed McDonald's in Iceland.
KuraIthys (3 days ago)
I don't think it was import tariffs so much as shipping costs and currency problems.
cosMICjester (6 days ago)
McDonalds is crap.
Bill Pool (8 days ago)
"Tariffs are good" Or, maybe not!!!
Czarokruk Ork (9 days ago)
Country with population over small Europe city.
Dr Evil (9 days ago)
let me guess, people don't want to go out because it's too damn cold in iceland
Mike Gervasi (9 days ago)
SS hotdogs are the best I've ever had. Icelandic people also hate tourists so it's not a fun vacation. A glass of average wine is $25.00 so it's VERY expensive.