McRib Season: When Does the Iconic McDonald's Sandwich Return?

McDonald's has said that the iconic McRib sandwich will return in November, along with the new McPlant burger. The McRib, a seasoned boneless pork sandwich with barbecue sauce, onions and pickles in a sandwich-style bun, was first released regionally in 1981 before its national debut the following year. It has since become a cult favorite, with its annual return generating much excitement and anticipation. The McRib's marketing strategy brings together the appeal of exclusivity, scarcity and seasonality in one tasty package.

McDonald's only maintains the McRib for a short time as a way to get people to come back for it. Meat scientist Roger Mandigo, one of the men credited with helping McDonald's invent its legendary sandwich, said that the national supply of those pork pieces used to make the McRib is not too large. This is why 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. 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.

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. On this day, the cult favorite McDonald's mcrib sandwich will return to participating venues across the country. The McRib was invented by McDonald's as a way to control costs and also as a way to get people to come back for it. It was his inspiration to shape the McRib pie like a slab of ribs, despite the fact that a round burger would have been cheaper to make and serve on standard hamburger buns. If the McRib were always on the menu, it wouldn't have the same appeal and excitement every time you went to try it.

Or, to put it another way, the McRib foreshadowed a fashionable LTO future, and the world finally caught up. And if it brings back fond memories of trying the first McRibs in the 1980s, you can also consider it an opportunity to reflect on what you've done with your life. 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.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

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

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