Explain to me: McRib popularity?

Sure. But where’s the fun in that? I wanted to make a REAL McRib. :slight_smile: Actually, the main grocery store I buy pork from has ground pork that is somehow too lean. I never get good results from it. I have to buy it from the Polish grocery store to have the right fat content; or I need to grind the shoulder (or whatever meat) myself.

We’ve done it in a pressure cooker and had it practically melt in your mouth.

Isn’t it, though? Just go to AM/PM. They taste about the same.

Crazes over chain fast food are bewildering.

There are such long lines for a Chick-fil-A in Santa Barbara, CA that certain residents are up in arms about traffic blockages (others are happily waiting forever to stuff themselves).

Fatburger recently opened its first outlet in our area and I stopped by for lunch one day, only to be turned off by wildly high prices and long non-moving lines. C’mon, it’s a burger joint.

There’s a considerable history of it happening, especially when a regional fast-food place, which runs national ads (or just gets a lot of PR) opens up in a new market for the first time. Locals have heard about the place for years, and when they finally have a chance to try it, they go bananas for a little while.

It happened in the past with Krispy Kreme, and with Sonic Drive-In; now it’s Chick-fil-A and Popeyes. Both of them opened their first stores in my home town of Green Bay in the recent past (Chick-fil-A just a couple of weeks ago), and yeah, there were long lines for a while.

Eventually, the “new car smell” wears off, people realize that it’s not actually manna from heaven, and the lines go away.

True enough, but this has been going on in Santa Barbara for years (the Chick-fil-A location there opened in 2013).

I’m thinking that it’s simply because it is different. Burgers and chicken sandwiches are pretty much what all the fast food places have. The McRib is a change of pace. Also, by only having it intermittently, it is more desirable in the eyes of consumers. If it was around all the time, sales would probably drop.

I live in Memphis which is arguably one of the best places in the world for pork barbeque. I know people who lose their minds when the McRib is back in season and available. I tried one once, don’t see any need to ever eat one again.

And, as I understand it, the periods when it’s offered aren’t consistent or predictable (unlike, say, Shamrock Shakes), which may also add to the hype when they announce its return.

I used to really like pork, until recently I’ve been steering more towards veggies and more bothered by the practices of raising these intelligent creatures. Also, not a big McD fan. But I always really enjoyed me a good pulled pork sammich.

Never understood the McRib appeal. “Let’s see HOW PROCESSED AND ARTIFICIAL we can make this food product!”

Of course, don’t really understand why my wife gets a shamrock shake every year, either…

Obviously an impressive success of PR/marketing! What makes America great!

The McRib is a permanent menu feature in some places where pork is not particularly cheap compared to the US (e.g. Germany). And while it might be a hassle to cook, I suspect it’s no more difficult than fillet o fish, which I’d be willing to bet would be outsold by the rib, were both the rib and fillet permanent menu items.

Personally, I don’t understand it at all, and I put it down to not every business decision necessarily being rational. At some point somewhere they got their fingers burned launching the McRib, and from then on it’s been cemented as a temporary menu item, and no-one’s pushed to change the status quo.

I can sous vide a pork shoulder or butt, then add in some sauce and have pulled pork for days. A McRib just isn’t as good as my pulled pork.

The Big AZ – linked above – is a reasonable facsimile. DoorDash carries 'em at the local DashMart.

Interesting. Chick-fil-A has been a symbol of the culture wars, in large part due to management’s vocal opposition to same-sex marriage (and homosexuality in general), and the company’s donations to organizations which oppose SSM (donations which have apparently been curtailed in recent years).

There have been, as I understand it (and as referenced in the Wikipedia article linked to above), some movements among conservative Christians to be supportive of the chain, even as they have also been vocally unhappy about the fact that the chain stopped those donations. Regardless, it could well be that it’s those conservative Christians who are still preferentially eating at Chick-fil-A, as they see it as “their fast food place,” and leading to those lines.

OTOH, it could be that some people in Santa Barbara just really like their sandwiches. :wink:

There are posters here that admit to eating there, despite the politics, because their fries are especially good, or something. They taste like hate to me, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man. :slight_smile:

While that might have some impact, Chick-fil-a is just really popular, combined with slightly longer than normal turnaround times for their food. Also, being a tier up over fast food chains like McDonalds means people are more willing to wait longer.

Every marketer has read Cialdini and understands the value of scarcity. But things that really are popular with high sales end up on the menu, methinks^.

^ There should be a word for methinking that is a little more doubtful. Meguessed? Mesurmise? Mesuppose?

If I’m ever walking in Memphis, it would be to a worthy barbecue joint. They gave those on Beale?

I think that, as noted earlier, McDonald’s has figured out that McRib sells really well as a limited-time item (and does a lot to generate PR when it’s re-introduced), but sales taper off the longer that it’s on the menu.

They’ve had the sandwich for 40 years, and they do a lot of in-market testing – they have a very large, well-regarded market research department (a number of friends and former colleagues of mine have worked there over the years). I have to believe that they have figured out the ideal frequency and length of a McRib availability period. (It’s also possible, as someone mentioned upthread, that pork prices also play a role.)

Well now you’re stretching credibility. Not as good as a McRib? Unpossible!