Why the McRib is Only Seasonal

Have you ever wondered why is the McRib seasonal? Some have floated some crazy conspiracies, such as the sandwich is made with pork shoulder meat, which is in high demand during the cooler months. The real reason is that the sandwich’s limited availability creates a sense of urgency and drives up sales. McDonald’s knows that we crave the McRib more when we can’t have it. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the McRib comes and goes like clockwork every year, leaving us feeling both satisfied and bereft in equal measure.


Though there are certainly some of us who would rush out and grab a McRib regularly all the time. But when the availability is limited, everyone rushes out one and grabs them as soon as they become available.

The History of the McRib

The McRib was first introduced in 1981 as a test product in select markets. The sandwich was well received by customers, so McDonald’s rolled it out nationwide the following year. The McRib sandwich remained on the menu from 1981 to 1985 before it was removed.

After disappearing for a few years, the McRib came back many times over the years. In 2005 a McRib Farewell Tour was announced. Despite the farewell tour, the McRib came back to McDonald’s menus again.

In 2020 the McRib returned nationwide for the first time since 2012. In 2022, the McRib is still going strong in the United States.

Why is the McRib so popular?

There’s no denying that the McRib has a cult following among fast food fanatics. But what is it about this sandwich that keeps people coming back for more, even though it’s only available for a few weeks out of the year? I think it boils down to three main factors: taste, nostalgia, and scarcity. When it comes to taste, there’s simply no other fast food sandwich quite like the McRib. The combination of barbecue sauce, onions, pickles, and lipsmackin’ good pork shoulder meat is unforgettable. As for nostalgia, let’s be honest: most of us who grew up eating McDonald’s as kids have fond memories of chowing down on a McRib every now and then. And finally, there’s scarcity. Because the McRib is only available for a short period of time each year, we tend to crave it even more when we can’t have it. It’s like forbidden fruit; we want what we can’t have.

Is the McRib Available in Other Countries Outside of the United States?

The McRib is available in several countries outside of the United States, including Canada, Australia, Finland, and Germany. However, the sandwich is not available in all markets; for example, it’s currently not on the menu in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

In fact, there are countries where the McRib is available all times, Germany and Luxembourg. The McRib isn’t available year-round in the United States due to pork not being a popular enough item.


So there you have it: everything you ever wanted to know about why the McDonald’s McRib is only available for a limited time each year. Whether you love or hate this sandwich, there’s no denying that it has a devoted following among fast food fans worldwide. Personally, I can’t wait for its return later this year!