McDonald's McRib Sandwich: Is It Here to Stay?

McDonald's McRib Sandwich is officially back and it's here to stay! Every year, the fast-food chain announces the return of the fan-favorite sandwich, and it always generates a buzz. Whether you love it or hate it, the divisive dish is here to stay. The novelty surrounding the McRib is not just an advantage that comes with its seasonal status, but it is the driving force behind its appeal. Fast food companies know that having at least one seasonal item is good for business.

When diners know that something is only available for a limited period of time, they are more motivated to make time to buy it than if it were always there waiting for them. Temporary dishes can also add variety to a menu that has been based on the same staple foods for decades. On Thursday, the fast-food chain announced that the fan-favorite sandwich will return annually in November. If the McRib were always on the menu, it wouldn't have the same appeal and excitement every time it returns.

Roughly every November for the past few years, the same news headlines continue to appear as McDonald's McRib returns to select locations across the country. The McRib has been on menus on and off for about 40 years and features a seasoned boneless pork burger wrapped in BBQ sauce, then served with shredded onions and dill pickles on a homemade bun. Yes, the iconic McRib first launched in Kansas City, Kansas, forty years ago, in 1981, a time when limited-time fast food items still felt novel. According to McDonald's archives, the McRib began as a regional favorite in Kansas City, Kansas, but did not succeed until the 1990s, when it was paired with the promotion of the live-action film The Flintstones. McRib's marketing strategy brings together the appeal of exclusivity, scarcity and seasonality in one tasty package.

It's the price of those odd cuts of pork shoulder that play an important role in determining when and how long the McRib stays on the menu. The McRib season has become an annual tradition, and burger fans are looking forward to the time when they can feast on this treat. While they haven't yet responded to my query about whether the McRib will be offered nationwide or only in select stores, this will most likely be a national launch again this year. It's been a while since McDonald's customers were able to sink their teeth into a juicy McRib, but the popular sandwich will return to the menu once again in just a few weeks. Because McDonald's is so ubiquitous and the McRib so remarkable, fans get discouraged when he leaves and rejoice exuberantly when he returns.

This time of year has been crowned McRib's season and fans were just as excited to see it return this year. So if you're looking for something new and exciting on your next trip to McDonald's, make sure you do as many races after November 1 as possible to satisfy your McRib craving before it goes off the menus again.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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