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Mos Burger outranks McDonald's as Japan’s most popular fast food chain


It seems there’s a fast food chain Japan loves even more than McDonald’s. According to a recent Niconico News survey of adults, the reigning king of fast food in Japan is the country’s own native Mos Burger – although McDonald’s runs a close second.

Since our diets consist of almost nothing but the lard, chicken goo, sawdust and other mystery substances that go into a fast food meal, a win for any fast food is a win for humanity in our book, but let’s take a moment to look at Niconico‘s ranking and examine some of the possible reasons the results:

First: Mos Burger (45.1%)

Some of those surveyed said that Mos Burger seemed to use higher quality ingredients, while others appreciated that some burgers are offered with grilled rice patties instead of buns on request. Mos Burger has exploded in popularity since its debut in 1972 and we can’t help but think national pride for the native Japanese chain may have a little to do with its strong showing in this survey.

Second: McDonald’s (37%)

McDonald’s unsurprisingly grabs the second spot, with survey respondents saying the consistent taste and low price kept them coming back. Some with larger appetites also noted that the Big Mac set and other larger meal sets were also a big draw.

Third: Freshness Burger (3.8%)

"Mosu" and "Makku" may take the lion’s share of the vote, but there was still some love for the slightly lesser-known guys. Most of those surveyed commented on the high quality of the burgers at Freshness Burger, which seems to maintain decent customer loyalty despite a piddling market share. Freshness Burger borders on “fast casual” rather than “fast food,” with burgers and fries handcrafted to order and delivered to your table. Many locations also serve beer, which doesn’t hurt.

Fourth: Lotteria (3.6%)

Another native Japanese chain, Lotteria restaurants can be found near most major Tokyo train stations. While the presence of “shake fries” – french fries that are shaken together with your choice of seasoning – as a persistent menu item kept many survey respondents coming back, we speculate the fact that the chain’s menu engineers succumbed to madness a few years ago and set about creating chocolate chicken sandwiches, towering nine-patty burgers and other mind-bending oddities probably had a role to play in Lotteria’s middling ranking.

Fifth: Burger King (2.5%)

Some commented in the Niconico survey that it’s Burger King’s signature Whopper sandwich that calls to them every other lunch break. The chain also sticks to its American big brother’s “Have it your way” creed, letting diners customize to their heart’s content; the only limit being their imaginations and their willingness to undergo gastric bypass surgeries.

Sixth: First Kitchen (1.9%)

Nothing really explains First Kitchen’s poor performance on the survey, as its menu features all the same greasy, calorie-dense delights as the above chains. Hell, it even offers pasta! Then again, perhaps it’s this very “kitchen sink” approach to their menu that spelled First Kitchen’s downfall this time around.

Seventh: Dom Dom Burger (.8%)

Dom Dom Burger has the distinction of being Japan’s first ever burger chain, established in February, 1970 – beating McDonald’s to the punch by a little over a year. Still, the years haven’t been kind to the chain with apparently only a few dozen locations remaining of the over 400 that once stood in its heyday.

Eighth: Wendy’s (.4%)

Even less well-known than Dom Dom Burger is the American transplant Wendy’s. We imagine the low penetration of the brand has a lot to do with Wendy’s pulling out of the Japan market less than a decade ago, then, after much waffling, deciding to have another go at it, albeit with slightly fancier offerings like lobster and caviar burgers. Currently, there are just two Wendy’s in operation in Japan – both located in the heart of Tokyo.

However, if the Japanese ever catch on to the fact that a french fry dipped in one of Wendy’s signature Frosty shakes is literally the most delicious thing you can ever possibly put in your mouth, we imagine we’ll be seeing two Wendy’s on every block in our (probably steampunk) future.

Note that the survey results don’t necessarily reflect market share in Japan. McDonald’s, for example, is still the undisputed market leader over Mos Burger in terms of sales. But more importantly, what do you think of these survey results? What’s your favorite Japanese fast food chain?

Source: Niconico News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- The top 8 fast food chains in Japan -- Mos Burger Goes Green With Their Mos Natsumi Burgers -- Lotteria’s new Twin Burger is not to be confused with a double burger

© RocketNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I only eat fast food once in a while but Burger King is my favorite. Mos tastes good but small portions and over-priced. I usually have to eat 2 burgers to feel satisfied. Not proud of that either...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

After not being able to see my “son" due to eating to my crap junk food like Mos and McD I made it a New Years resolution to avoid them all like the plague!!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Wow, and here in the states we're still stuck with McD, BK and Wendy's (Wendy's is my favorite out of the three).

I hope to sample the Mos Burger and Freshness Burger chains. I especially is intrigued with the Rice burger. I have to try it for myself before I can make an opinion, but I do love rice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've said this before but will again: JT really needs a hamburger section on the page. Hardly a week goes by without a hamburger story. Last week it was pink buns at Mc D. But people really should try my Indian Lamb burgers sitting on crispy lettuce, topped with spicy aubergine chutney and cucumber mixed with Greek yoghurt in a toasted bun. I'd offer to post the recipe but the chutney has about a dozen or so things in it and takes 2 hours to make although does make a few jars that lasts a long time. You won't get these at a fast food outlet.

And for the record, I prefer Mos Burgers but agree with the earlier poster they are a little on the small side.

3 ( +6 / -4 )

The fixings of MOS burgers tend to be generous, but invariable squirt when you take a bite and will wind up on your lap if you're not careful. About 25 years ago MOS Burger made headlines when it substituted rice for the roll. It never took off for some reason. I guess it goes to show that one can only stray so far from orthodoxy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is not much in the way of real burgers here (or even in the isa nowadays), but KuaAina is probably the best chain. The fries are especially tasty.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sorry, but Japan wouldn't know a good hamburger if it hit them in the face. I just took a trip to the states and hamburgers are my favorite food in the world. Of course I went on a hamburger tour. I ate no less than 12 hamburges. Even fastfood places like Five Guys and Milos put ANYTHING hamburger you can find in Japan to shame. But what about gourmet hamburgers? Can you even get them in Japan. Atlanta's and Birmingham's Flip burger. Atlanta's The Vortex. I can get ONE good hamburger where I live, and surprise its cooked by an American.

Japan adopted baking from Europe and they perfected it! Japan just won the World Baking Championship. When are they going to apply that same passion to hamburgers. I mean a where is my bacon? no not a flappy piece of fatty ham. REAL bacon! Where can I get a pepper jack bacon cheese burger in Japan?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Good! Mos Burger is awesome!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

BK is best for nice charbroiled flavor, Freshness not far behind with real homemade style burgers. However, I fail to see how Mos could outrank Mac as most Mos places are almost empty and Mac is usually packed all times of the day. In my neighborhood where Mac is down the street from Mos, the difference in customer numbers is like night and day and this has been the case for the last 10 years.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I don't think this ranking is based on sales folks.

I like a little MOS once in a while but try to limit intake of all this stuff as its slow poison, or not so slow if your eating the stuff every week, just sayin!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@mito - got to agree - Kua Aina are good, choices of fillings, toppings, bread, cheese, quarter, ⅓ and ½ lb offerings, side orders. The service might not be as fast as some of the others, but a short wait doesn't really hurt if you know the food is going to taste good...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The service is too slow at Mos Burger and the product just isn't good enough to wait that long for. Overpriced as well.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Freshness Burger is the absolute worst. I wouldn't feed that to cleo's cat.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I think anything is better than the attitude of the staff at my local McDonalds.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Mos Burger and Freshness Burger are definitely my favourites. :)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese people may say in these surveys that they think MOS burger is the best but in reality it's just a false show of support for brand Japan... if they are honest they hardly ever go to MOS.

The three McDonald's nearest to my house are always packed... The solitary MOS is almost always nearly empty.

6 ( +8 / -3 )

McD`s anywhere always has the same uncomfortable vibe. Probably from the staff hating there jobs and half the customers wishing they were eating somewhere else.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mos Burger sales for 2013: 614,000,000 yen

McD's sales for 2013: 260,000,000,000 yen

Mos Burger outranks McD's, eh?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The survey was not about sales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mos Burger sales for 2013: 614,000,000 yen. McD's sales for 2013: 260,000,000,000 yen. Mos Burger outranks McD's, eh?

I thought exactly the same thing. I know it isn't about sales though...

What I'm betting is that a lot of people probably thought that saying Mos Burger was cooler than saying McD's.

Mos Burger sucks. Wait a long time for a small burger filled with stuff that falls all over them place as you try to eat it? No thank you.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

McDonalds is cheaper, but that does not mean it is better or more popular. It is rather like saying that happoshu is more popular than beer because it outsells it. Mos Burger is clearly a superior product to McDonalds, but you lose on speed and price. If you know that you will have to wait an almighty 5 minutes for your meal, then you should be ok.

Freshness burger is also excellent - I think hidingout must be confusing it with Lotteria.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mos has made the RICE burger but SIMONDB!! I really wanna try your Indian Lamb Burgers with Chutney and Greek yourgurt etc..man oh man, that sounds YUMMY!!!!!! SIMONDB for PRESIDENT!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think hidingout must be confusing it with Lotteria.

Nope. I've never set a foot in Lotteria, although the one near my home seems to be doing well. I went to Freshness once. Ordered a cheeseburger, a chicken sandwich, fries and a drink. One bite of each was all I could stomach. I ate a few greasy fries, downed my drink and got the hell out as fast as I could. Revolting would be a kind description.

I haven't eaten at McD for more than fifteen years, but I will stop by Mos maybe once every couple of months. Its still pretty unpalatable food, but at least they put some effort into it.

Mostly I agree with inakaRob. Finding a decent hamburger in Japan is no small chore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When it comes to satisfying your hunger with a full meal, McDs is definitely the most expensive fast food chain. Mos at least has actual buns and not lumps and scarce ingredients like McD. Anyway you can get delicious, more wholesome local specialties for a fraction of the price in small food stalls. McDs is just made for people who want to eat the same soylent all the time and everywhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's DEFINITELY better than McD's.

In fact everything on that list is better. But I don't know Dom Dom.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese are not stupid.. they realize what is in McD's burgers that are fed GMO corn... grass fed and organic ingredients do make a difference and worth the increased price..

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

For the record: after my first two trips to MOS Burger in Japan (during my twelve years there) I avoided MOS Burger like the plague. I'm surprised Lotteria came in third. Just my two yens' worth.........

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

yes i have to admit Mos burgers are not bad, if they just amed them about 50% larger for the same price then theyd be great. Burger King make good burgers just theres not that many branches in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The survey does not reflect sales, and as the article and others state I'm guessing MOS ranks first due in part to the fact that the survey asked Japanese people and MOS is a Japanese company.

That said, I DO like the burgers there far more than McD's, which are awful to begin with and should rank close to last in this survey. MOS isn't bad, and the mess is part of the deliciousness, but as has been said the portions are small, relatively expensive, and it's not exactly 'fast'. If I had to rank my favourite chains out of these I'd say Burger King and then Wendy's, but there aren't any anywhere near where I live. Burger King's whoppers and onion rings rock, and Wendy's has the frosty, serves REAL bacon on the burgers, and has chili fries! Freshness Burger isn't bad, and they have a nice variety of burgers on the menu. Been wanting to try Kua Aina for a while, but again none in my immediate area. Places like Lotteria and First Kitchen serve garbage. I agree with others as well that there are not enough places that serve gourmet burgers, though there are a couple of joints, chain or not, that serve good ones. Outback Steakhouse has a decent burger, though pricey, and I know a couple of other places in the city that cook up a good one. None of them top my own burgers, particularly my BBQ'd spiced patty with some Stilton cheese in the middle, but they are a pain to get the ingredients for, and forget about a good roll in any bakery or supermarket here.

Simon: "But people really should try my Indian Lamb burgers sitting on crispy lettuce, topped with spicy aubergine chutney and cucumber mixed with Greek yoghurt in a toasted bun."

Wow... I'd have to try it, and would not doubt like it, but that is a LOT of flavor for one burger! :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I especially liked MOS (Mountains, Ocean, Sun) Burger's "Spicy Chicken Burger" but it has long been discontinued. It was great for a weekend, no-hassle meal (with fries, onion rings and a genmai-flake shake).

So MOS Burger coming in first is easy to relate to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love the MosB winter offering of rice cakes with nori and salmon. MB also is healthier food (for a ff chain), sources locally, and is Japanese. MacD is fake food and bad for everyone's health, although they do have nonsmoking places and good cheap coffee, but the stench of the food is pretty awful if you really know what good food smells like. OK JT Mods, delete me........................................*

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I am going to eat a burger it's going to be at Freshness Burger. Like their patties better than those of Mcdees or MoS burger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Burger King is my favorite. It'll beat McD's anyday. Too bad the only one in Hiroshima closed its doors some years ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BK is the best I love the burgers there!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stumbled apon a little USA Diner style burger place back in 2007 called 'Standard Burger'. For me was the best i've ever had, actually made you feel refreshed after eating, not all heavy and greasy. Super fresh bun, crisp salad, great sauces and cheeses, and super juicy pattie. Comes as set with minestrone soup, crispy seasoned fries, a pepsi and a brownie for desert. Returned to Tokyo in 2012 and could not find the same place, they renamed the chain to J.S. Burger Cafe, their burgers have only got even better, plus can be purchased with Longboard etc beeru. Never fails to impress any other gaijins i take with me and each and every time the burgers were identical to the last time ! http://journal-cafe.jp/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"McDonalds is cheaper, but that does not mean it is better or more popular"

McD's may not be better, but it sure is a lot more popular than MOS. The numbers don't lie.

"J.S. Burger Cafe, their burgers have only got even better"

I tried one of their burgers last week. Not good, McD's is better.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MOS = Mountain, Ocean, Sunshine

But there is more salt and cholesterol than nature in their fare...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

McD's still rules the burger market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I especially liked MOS (Mountains, Ocean, Sun)..."

Hmmm... until now I always thought it was "Mountains, Ocean, Sky", so thank you for correcting me.

Serrano: Face it. McD's sucks. In terms of being fast, they are the fastest. In terms of being the least healthy, they are that. In terms of calories, they pack a mean punch in a small meal, and a giant kick in a big one. The bread is awful, the meat is not actually meat, the fries, while legendary, are cooked in fats that will stop your heart, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smith... Face it. McD's still rules the burger market. Look at the numbers.

The meat is not actually meat? 100% beef is not beef? I'm confused...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Going against what sometimes seems the conventional wisdom for foreigners in Japan I have to say MosB sucks. Absolutely hate it. McD burgers are not fantastic, but at least their fries still rock.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


No need to sound apologetic.

MOS does suck... it's a long wait for average-tasting small portions.

McD's serves quickly and tastes good. The stores are clean and the price is reasonable. Always enjoy going there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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