If there is one phrase that is going to get the fast food public excited more than anything then it’s this; ‘The McRib is back!’ Once this phrase is uttered, or more likely shouted, the masses will rush to their nearest McDonald’s to try and get their hands on the allusive McRib. This tasty pork sandwich, covered with that unforgettable tangy barbecue sauce, has been a cult favorite for decades. With every appearance, the McRib graces us with, our mouths water with anticipation and excitement, not to mention hope as we pray it sticks around for longer this time. But wait, just before you frantically check the internet for the next available McRib, check out our 10 Untold Truths About the McDonald’s McRib.
10. German’s Can Have It Anytime
The McDonald’s McRib has become famous for its rare inclusion on the McDonald’s menu. The fact that you can only get the McRib at certain times, has only gone on to strengthen the pork sandwich’s cult status. However, although most of the world is a slave to the McDonald’s timetable, and therefore waiting with bated breath for that barbecue source to waft in the air once again, there is one country in the world that has the McRib on its menu all year round. That country is Germany. It’s fair to say that the Germany people have a fondness for meat; after all, it is famous for being the land of sausages and Hamburgers of course. So it’s not surprising that the McRib is popular with the locals and has found a home among the German population. Now, all we need to do is check the prices for flights to Germany immediately.
9. McRib Would Like To Thank Chicken
Many of us know that McDonald’s started out as a simple Hamburger stand way back in the 1940’s. Focusing solely on Hamburgers and Fries, McDonald’s very quickly became a huge success story and the standard for fast and cheap Hamburgers. As the fast-food giants took off, they started to develop new foods to expand their empire. The next big success story was the launch of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the late 1970’s. The McNuggets proved so popular with customers that McDonald’s actually struggled to keep up with demand. With no clear system in place to keep up with demand, McDonald’s started to come with alternative products to help. After many brainstorming sessions, and taking some inspiration from Southern BBQ, the McRib was born. It’s initially purpose was to be rolled out to all the restaurants that had an extremely short supply of chickens, a way of giving the customers a tasty alternative. Soon, however, it wouldn’t be long till the McRib got its own fanbase.
8. The Great Disappearing McRib
If there is one sure-fire way to make something desirable with the public, then it’s to make it unpredictable and difficult to get. If you can’t have it all the time, then you want it more. This is something McDonald’s and it’s McRib have done since the beginning and it’s worked to perfection. Only making the McRib available on certain and rare occasions, it makes us want it even more. Although on the surface this strategy looks like a stroke of advertising genius, the truth is it actually came about by accident. Back in the early 1980’s when McDonald’s were releasing the very first McRib, the public weren’t all that keen on it. In fact, the sales were disappointing enough to McDonald’s that by the mid-1980’s they took it off all menus for good. Of course, once the public could no longer order it, they wanted it more. In the early 1990’s McDonald’s rolled out the McRib again with one big push and this time the public eat it up – literally. From this day on a legend was born and McDonald’s continues to use the ‘limited time only’ trick to this day.
7. More Myths Than Lock Ness
Over the years there have been many things said about the McRib. A quick google search will show fact after fact about the pork sandwich. However, just as with anything in the public eye, a lot of these ‘facts’ turn out to be not so factual. The McRib has attracted more of these myths than almost any other foods in the world, it’s the price you pay for success. Out of all of these myths about the McRib, the weirdest, and funniest, to us are yoga mats and Kangaroo meat. The internet is good for fuelling conspiracy theories and myths like wildfire and one of the earliest ‘facts’ about the McRib was that it contains the same ingredients as yoga mats, and the bleach that cleans them. Now, we’re not saying that the McRib doesn’t have a certain rubbery texture to it, but that’s a bit of a stretch to yoga mats. So of course, this fact is not true and has been stated in several interviews by CEO’s, as well as the official McDonald’s website, which by law has to disclose all ingredients. And just for our own peace of mind, no Kangaroos were harmed in the making of this, or any McRib sandwich. Skippy The Bush Kangaroo can sleep safe and sound tonight.
6. The Masters Of Advertising
McDonald’s have always been experts at advertising and getting the public into their restaurants. Whether it’s free toys for kids, colorful play areas and ball pits, tie ins with blockbuster movies and sporting events and of course, the original mascot himself – Ronald McDonald. It’s fair to say that when it comes to promoting its restaurants and its products, McDonald’s have lead the way for decades. So it’s no surprise that when McDonald’s wanted to relaunch it’s McRib after its first and second disastrous outing and disappeared from its menus in the mid 1980-‘s, it chose to do it with style. With the release of The Flintstones live-action movie in the early 1990’s, McDonald’s jumped at the chance to push their rib shaped sandwich at the pre-historic family. We all remember in the original cartoon when The Flintstones had a rack of ribs put on their car; what if it was a McRib? McDonald’s saw their chance and took it. The campaign was a big success and the McRib was back on the menu and for the first time in its history, the McRib was a star. Another advertising masterstroke was a petition that went up on the McDonald’s website to save the McRib and keep it around forever. Even better, the petition was sponsored by the Boneless Pig Farmers of America. The eager masses signed the petition hoping against hope to make the McRib a permanent fixture on the menu, but alas it wasn’t to be. The McRib never did become a full-time menu item but with advertising gold like this, and the fact that a McRib launch is always followed by the words ‘For a limited time only.’ It makes us love it even more. Yabadabadoo!
5. It’s All In The Look
The very first thing we all learn about the McRib is that it isn’t actually rib. The second thing we learn is that there are no bones in the McRib either. The second fact we’re actually glad of – We don’t think there are many people out there that want to bite down on a tasty sandwich only to end up with a mouthful of bones! So why we hear you ask, is the McRib patty shaped like a rack of ribs if their not ribs? Well, as with all products that come to market, the McRib was tested with several focus groups and the rib shape came out as a firm favorite. The sandwich itself was inspired by barbecue pork sandwiches when chef Rene Arend visited Charleston, South Carolina. Although the McRib isn’t a rib, Arend liked the look of it and is credited with the shape of the McRib. Because of what it’s made from; it’s the tripe, heart, and stomach of the pig (We hope you’ve eaten already.) And the way it’s made; mixing the meat with salts and water to extract the proteins. The resulting meat can be shaped and molded into anything. McDonald’s did try several shapes with their focus groups, including the traditionally flat burger patty shape, but the rib one the day and we are thankful that it did.
4. WOW – That is quick
Today we live in a world where anything is attainable from the comfort of our own homes. With just a click of a button, we can have whatever our heart’s desire brought right to us, and one of the biggest door to door industries is food. With millions of people ordering food for delivery, and an ever-increasing need for these food companies to stand out from the rest, today’s society has taught us one important thing; speed is king. We all strive for things to be fast, if not immediate and our food is no different. So just how long does it take to have a McRib ready to cook? The answer is a speedy 45 minutes. In an interview with Maxim Rob Cannell, a director with McDonald’s, Cannell goes into details about how the McRib is made. According to him the meat is chopped, seasoned and shaped into the famous McRib shape. then using their heavy machinery, including cryogenic freezers, the McRibs are flash-frozen and ready to go. From fresh pork to frozen McRib in 45 minutes, now that is quick.
3. All That Glitters Is Gold
The McDonald’s McRib has truly reached cult status over the years. With its army of devoted followers, the McRib is more in line with a rock star or celebrity than it is with a simple sandwich. Because of this, there have been many events and celebrations involving the now-iconic sandwich. Each time McDonald’s wants to entice us back through their Golden Arches outcomes the promotion. The McRib has had several; The Quest for the Golden McRib was a contest that had a ‘hidden’ Golden McRibs in McDonald’s across the country for us to find. They’ve also had a backstory competition in which customers were asked to invent a mythical background for the McRib and not too mention several ‘Farewell’ tours. Three that we are aware of. Through all these gimmicks and competitions, it’s actually the pork itself that might make the most money for McDonald’s. The McRib is slightly unique when it comes to meat as it is made entirely of pork. Because pork is seasonal, and therefore the price can rise and fall dramatically, McDonald’s can keep an eye on the price of pork and release the McRib when ever pork is low and cash in on our obsession with the McRib. It’s a win win situation for everyone.
2. So, Sue Me!
Over the years, McDonald’s have been no stranger to the courtroom. Many people have tried to take down the fast-food giants; whether it’s lawsuits for causing obesity, diabetes or other health problems, employment standards and equality or battles with other fast-food chains. Not to mention that McDonald’s has been in the courtroom from their very early days with their name; McDonald’s, or is it MacDonald’s? So it may not come as too much of a surprise to learn that several animal rights groups have targeted Ronald and co. The biggest and most famous of these cases against McDonald’s involved the McRib. The Humane Society of the United States filled a big lawsuit against the pork supplier for McDonald’s, claiming that the conditions were horrendous. The allegations were simple; Smithfield Foods, the pork supplier for McDonald’s, and in fact one of the largest pork suppliers in the world, lied about their treatment of their animals. A report was filled that Smithfield Foods were keeping breeding sows in gestation crates, which restricts movement for their life! Plus they were accused of teeth extraction and castration on the animals without the use of any painkillers. Investigates also noted that piglets were treated with such distain, it was difficult to report. Premature piglets born in these crates fell through the slates on to the ground and were left to die. This isn’t a nice side to the fast-food industry or the McRib, but unfortunately, these things did happen and sadder still, they still happen somewhere.
1. It’s Still Tasty
After everything that has been said about the McDonald’s McRib, whether it’s good, bad or ugly, the public still loves it. It’s very hard for us to think of a fast-food meal that has taken over the public as much as the McRib has. What started out as a need for McDonald’s to solve its supply problem, it very quickly took on a life, and persona, of its own and flow. Whether it was good marketing or dumb luck, or a mixture of the two, The McRib has become a phenomenon like no other. today the McRib fans are still very loyal to the simple pork sandwich. Bringing itself into the 21st century, the McRib now has it’s own app and online presence where the devoted masses can keep an eye on where and when the McRib is going to be next. This may involve some travel but nothing will stop those die-hard fans from tasting that special barbecued slathered pork sandwich. It’s fair to say that McDonald’s struck gold with this item and it will be a long time before we see anything else capture the imagination quite like the McRib. So, go online, check your app and rush down to a McDonald’s near you to enjoy this tasty, classic treat. For a limited time only of course.