When Does the McRib Come Back to McDonald's?

The McRib is a legendary sandwich that has been around since 1981. It was first introduced to the McDonald's menu and then removed four years later. However, the McRib has since become a fan favorite and returns to the menus annually. Mike Bullington, senior file manager at McDonald's, said the sandwich was made to be “enjoyed during the colder seasons.” Major media outlets and the entire Internet pick up the story every time the McRib returns, which in turn draws more traffic as sandwich fans flock to try it once again. Meat scientist Roger Mandigo, one of the men credited with helping McDonald's invent its legendary sandwich, told the Lincoln Journal Star that the national supply of those pork pieces used to make the McRib is not too large.

To celebrate the sandwich's 40th anniversary, McDonald's announced a contest Thursday in which it will give away digital versions of the fan-favorite sandwich, almost as spicy as McRib himself. The main reason McDonald's will never make the McRib a permanent fixture is the thrill of having a limited-edition menu. McDonald's said that the “rise of the Internet and the emergence of social media solidified McRib's icon status and “the hype surrounding its annual return even gave rise to the phrase 'McRib season.' Therefore, between cost control and marketing appeal, McDonald's has developed a smart strategy to attract the masses with its McRib launch campaigns. For now, just make sure to do as many McDonald's races after November 1 as possible to satisfy your McRib craving before it goes off the menus again.

Every October or November for the past few years, the same headlines appear when McDonald's McRib reappears in select locations across the country. McDonald's gave people a rather cryptic answer the last time people pushed for one, saying that the McRib returns when it wants to or that it returns “based on consumer demand.” In addition to cost control, McDonald's only maintains the McRib for a short time as a way to get people to come back for it. Because McDonald's is so ubiquitous and the McRib so remarkable, fans get discouraged when he leaves and rejoice exuberantly when he returns.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

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

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