Oct 31, 2022 - Economy

McRib is back at McDonald's for "farewell tour"

McRib sign at McDonald's drive-thru

McDonald's McRib is back for a limited time. Photo: Kelly Tyko/Axios

McDonald's iconic barbecue sandwich — the McRib — officially returns today to participating restaurants nationwide to kick off a “farewell tour.”

Why it matters: The McRib’s arrival comes days after the fast-food giant reported growing traffic in its U.S. restaurants despite higher prices.

Meanwhile, not included in the quarterly earnings released last week were McDonald's popular October promotions from the Cactus Plant Flea Market meals, Halloween buckets to the launch of a test with Krispy Kreme.

Between the lines: The pork sandwich debuts as frozen pork supplies are up 14% from last year with stocks of pork bellies up 183% from last year, according to a recent USDA report.

McRib price varies by restaurant

How much you'll pay for a McRib can vary greatly by region and by location, a pricing analysis found.

  • Axios randomly checked prices using the McDonald's app for more than a dozen locations across the country.
  • A McDonald's in Phoenix, Arizona had the cheapest McRib at $3.89 while a San Francisco location was selling it for $5.99, higher than Axios found in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Zoom out: The latest Consumer Price Index showed overall pork prices were up 6.7% in September from the same month last year.

McRib farewell tour might not be the last

Flashback: McDonald’s had a “McRib Farewell Tour” in 2005, QSR Magazine reported, and the “McRib Farewell Tour II” in 2006, according to a news release.

What they’re saying: Last week, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski called the McRib "the GOAT of sandwiches on our menu,” referring to the acronym “Greatest of All Time.”

  • “And so like the GOAT of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and others, you're never sure if they're fully retired or not,” he said during the Oct. 27 earnings call.
  • "Like any true farewell tour, we’re hoping this isn’t a 'goodbye' but a 'see you later,'" McDonald's said in its news release.

Yes, but: McDonald’s has taken time off from releasing the McRib nationwide over the years. When it returned in 2020, the chain said it was the first time since 2012 that it was available at restaurants nationwide.

McRib merch line releases Nov. 4

As part of the farewell tour, McDonald's said it will launch a "nostalgic McRib merch line."

Details: The line of "limited-edition throwback-inspired merch" will be available on a company website starting at 11am ET Friday.

McRib end date

The McDonald's website for the McRib said last week to get "one while you can" and order in the app for delivery or pick up "before you say goodbye" on Nov. 20.

  • A possible last day is no longer listed on the site, but expect supplies to be limited.

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