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Did climate change kill the $1 McDonald's burger?

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 4:50 PM ET
Adam Berry | Bloomberg | Getty Images

People eager to find a culprit behind the recent price hikes on McDonald's Dollar Menu need look no further than climate change, according to an article on Quartz.

McDonald's has been negotiating with its franchisees for years over the lower profit margins delivered by Dollar Menu items, especially the double cheeseburger. They have tried to compromise. McDonald's agreed to render one of the burger's two patties cheeseless to lower franchise costs.

But rising temperatures across America have led to devastating droughts. Farmers have had to shrink their herds, pay more for feed and charge more for their cattle.

This has made it all but impossible to charge $1 for a cheeseburger.

Should McDonald's ditch healthy items?
Will Slabaugh, Stephens Inc., research analyst says consumers clearly want indulgent options, but keeping healthy products are key. David Freedman, The Atlantic contributor, says McDonald's needs to come out with a healthier Big Mac.

On its new menu, called the Dollar Menu & More, McDonald's is allowing franchises "flexibility" when pricing items. While some items will still cost only a dollar, there will be a middle tier with items like the double cheeseburger that cost $2, and a third tier where the most expensive items will ring up at $5.

If the planet continues to warm, we may never bite into another $1 burger again.

—By CNBC.com.

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