McDonald’s McRib went from being the next McNugget to an elusive cult favorite — here’s how it happened

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The McRib.

  • McDonald’s is bringing again the McRib nationally for a farewell tour.
  • The McRib has had at the least three different farewell excursions, and its been on and off menus since 1981.
  • The McRib drives visitors and gross sales for McDonald’s each time it returns, and the CEO known as it the “GOAT of sandwiches.” 
The McRib solely exists due to the success of one other iconic McDonald’s menu merchandise: McNuggets.

Spicy McNuggets 2 (2)
Spicy McNuggets.

Source: Insider

After McNuggets have been launched in 1979, franchisees could not get sufficient of them and demanded one other sizzling product to promote.


Source: Insider

Executive chef Rene Arend was impressed to create the McRib after a visit to South Carolina the place he ate barbecue.


Source: Maxim

The design for the McRib used new know-how for “restructured meat product” created by Richard Mandigo at the University of Nebraska.

Lab meat

Source: NPR

Though it incorporates little rib meat, Arend designed the form to “look like a slab of ribs.”

McDonald's McRib

Source: Maxim

The McRib formally debuted in take a look at markets in 1981, increasing additional in 1982.

McRib debut 1980s

Source: Retroist

McDonald’s used an in depth promoting marketing campaign to clarify it to prospects.


Customers confirmed up to strive the McRib, however not many returned for repeat visits, and it disappeared from menus in 1985.

McRib vintage ad

Source: Insider

It got here again seasonally at some areas, with restricted runs all through the Nineteen Nineties.


The Simpsons gave the McRib a everlasting place in popular culture in a 2003 episode parodying the sandwich, known as the “Ribwich.”

Simpsons Ribwich McRib

Source: Simpsons Wiki

That similar 12 months McDonald’s launched a mini model of the sandwich, the McRib Jr.

McRib Jr

Source: McDonald’s

McDonald’s took the McRib on three farewell excursions in 2005, 2006, and 2007 earlier than including it to nationwide menus from 2010 to 2012.

mcrib 2010
A McRib signal is seen at a McDonald’s restaurant on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. The sandwich arrived on the menu for the first time since 1994 and is obtainable in any respect McDonald’s nationwide for a restricted time till December 5, 2010. The McRib was first launched in 1981.

Source: Insider

The McRib discovered success as a limited-time supply, and McDonald’s offered $30 million sandwiches and 7 million kilos of pork in 2007.


Source: Maxim

In 2008, McRib fan Aaron Klein began the McRib Location web site that used crowdsourced suggestions to assist individuals discover the sandwich.

McRib Locations
Another McRib superfan began campaigning for the return of the McRib on-line in 2018 on the web site McRibGate.

In 2020, McDonald’s introduced the McRib again nationally for the first time in eight years.

The McRib.

Source: Insider

In 2022, McDonald’s introduced the McRib would go on yet one more farewell tour, returning to menus for a restricted time beginning on October 31.

A McRib is seen at a McDonald’s restaurant on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California.

Source: Insider

McDonald’s is taking part in coy about if the sandwich will return, although. “Like the GOATs of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady & others, you’re never sure if they’re fully retired or not,” CEO Chris Kempczinski mentioned in an October earnings name.

michael jordan
Michael Jordan

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