Product knockoffs in the former Soviet Union

Knockoffs can be found in almost any part of the world and the FSU isn’t about to be left behind when it comes to stealing a good idea. Starbucks immediately comes to mind–a Russian company held the rights to the name and while Coffee House, McCafe and others were making a killing, Starbucks sat on the sidelines for years as legal cases slowly drug their way thru the Russian courts. Today Starbucks can be found in the FSU, but they’re a baby still due to so much lost time.

One of the most common knockoffs is McDonalds, МcДональдс.

Not quite McDonalds in Ukraine’s Yalta area.

There was a rumour for awhile that McDonalds was considering the purchase of one Russian ripoff, McPeak, but they haven’t done so as far as I know.

McD….wait, Mak Duck?!

Another blatant knockoff is McFoxy, the Ukrainian ripoff of McDonalds.

Here, have a coupon next time you’re in Ukraine:

McFoxy is Ukraine’s version of a McDonalds knockoff.

McDonalds is suing McFoxy in Ukrainian courts.

Speaking of McDonalds and lawsuits, Mickey D recently won a land mark case in Russia, a case which observers say will forever change the Russian fast food market. For those who say that the entire Russian judicial system solely favours the home team, you may wish to think twice.

The Moscow Oblast Federal Tax Authority had set tax rates at 18% for restaurants. McDonalds sued, and won, by convincing the court that it is not a restaurant but instead, a grocery store/market for prepackaged foods.

McDonalds attorneys were able to successfully argue that their chain of stores provides no traditional restaurant services. Instead they sell preprepared and packaged food, when customers come in to order it. They were able to prove that most of their food is prepared in advance and the final packaging is completed as it is ordered by a customer.

If that a ripoff to Russian consumers? Well not really as smart businesses generally pass along increased costs and that is one cost that will not be “on the menu” however other restaurants will benefit from the same ruling. Now McDonalds, McPick, KFC, McBlin, Burger King, Wendys and many other fast food restaurants will enjoy the 10% sales tax instead of 18%.

Just in case you’re wondering, traditional restaurants will continue to pay the 18%.

Hmm…it’s not McDonalds!

We leave this report with a flashback to the day in 1990 when the first McDonalds opened in Moscow, a Canadian venture, so for this report we go to the archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: