French fries at McDonald’s restaurants across Russia will be made with Russian-grown potatoes from now on, because of U.S. sanctions that have hit the Russian ruble and led to trade restrictions.
McDonald’s restaurants in Russia have already been using Russian ingredients for most other menu items, but until now they had relied on frozen French fries from the Netherlands and Poland because Russian potatoes weren’t quite right.
Now McDonald’s is making the switch to home-grown potatoes to deal with ruble’s volatility caused by fluctuating oil prices and western sanctions. A plant south of Moscow using potatoes grown on local farms will supply frozen fries to 651 McDonald’s restaurant across Russia.
The factory has capacity to process more than 200,000 tons of potatoes per year, washing, cutting and freezing the vegetables.
The ruble has recovered some ground as the price of oil, a major source of revenue for Russia, has risen from a low in 2016. But western trade restrictions remain in place.
Russia’s response to western sanctions included a 2014 ban on a range of western food imports.