McDonald’s famous McRib is returning to the US menu on December 2. The last time anyone tasted the McRib in any McDonald’s restaurant was in 2012. The limited pork sandwich was first introduced in 1981 and it is only available for a short period of time every year or every few years.
To indicate how scarce it can be to find the menu on any McDonald’s restaurant, the company launched a McRib locator app and website recently so that customers can locate any restaurants where it can be obtained. The last time it was released to the menu, it was available in 10,000 of McDonald’s 14,000 outlets in the United States.
McDonald’s vice president of menu innovation, Linda VanGosen, said customers have loved the McRib “since its inception nearly 40 years ago. To our customers, it’s become more than a delicious, saucy moment; it’s a season, and it’s taking the internet by storm. There’s nothing quite like the taste of the McRib.”
Customers describe McRib as a “seasoned boneless pork with a smoky, tangy barbecue sauce, plus sliced pickles and slivered onions on a seeded bun.” Given that the menu is released periodically, its return to the restaurants any year generates a lot of buzzes and even media attention.
Analysts even say the December 2 release of the menu will not only rebound sales for McDonald’s in the face of plummeting business occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, but it will also pull customers to the restaurant chain during the holiday season. This will in turn boost sales for the food chain which reported in October that its home market increased by only 5% in its last quarter. Just this year, the company’s shares rose by 6% and the company now has a market value of $162 billion.
When many customers demand to know why McRib is not available year-round in McDonald’s, the management has little answer. But Roger Mandigo, a meat scientist who worked on the sandwich when it was first introduced in 1981 said it might be due to the limited availability of pork trimmings used for the McRib. However, McRib can be found in McDonald’s restaurants in Germany all year round and it is always available for purchase at any time.