Solid New York Times piece on McDonald’s in Russia. To wit:

The company celebrated a different milestone earlier this year by outsourcing the last product — hamburger buns — it had made at a proprietary factory outside Moscow called McComplex. It was built before the chain opened its first restaurant. Nearly everywhere else, McDonald’s buys ingredients, rather than making its own. But in the Soviet Union, there simply were no private businesses to supply the 300 or so distinct ingredients needed by a McDonald’s outlet.

Everything — from frozen French fries to pie filling — had to be made from scratch at a sprawling factory.

McDonald’s is always a good lens through which to view the 118 or so countries where it operates. In the 20 years since McDonald’s arrived in Russia, enough private enterprises have sprung up to supply nearly every ingredient needed to operate one of its restaurants.

Today, private businesses in Russia supply 80 percent of the ingredients in a McDonald’s, a reversal from the ratio when it opened in 1990 and 80 percent of ingredients were imported.

Fascinating stuff. I could probably write an entire final exam around that passage.