McDonald's fries back on the menu in all sizes in Japan

TOKYO - McDonald's customers in Japan will be able to order french fries in all sizes again from next month, after the fast-food chain limited sales to small servings because of import delays.

McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) Ltd said on Friday it will resume sales of medium- and large-size french fries on Jan. 5, as it has secured enough inventory thanks to emergency measures.

The company, owned 49.9 per cent by McDonald's Corp, began restricting serving sizes on Dec. 17 after a labour dispute at US West Coast ports led to delays in imports.

As an emergency step, McDonald's Japan said earlier this month that it was importing over 1,000 tonnes of frozen fries by air, and another 1,600 tonnes by ship from ports on the US East Coast.

The fry rationing capped off a tough year for McDonald's Japan: the company in October forecast its first annual loss in 11 years as sales slid following a food safety scandal at the Chinese supplier of chicken for its McNuggets.

Sales at outlets open at least a year fell 12 per cent in November, down for the 10th month in a row.

McDonald's Japan said it continues to face import delays as the port labour dispute drags on. It said it will monitor the situation closely and do its best to offer a stable supply of fries.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the fry shortage's impact on earnings.