updated - May 18, 2013 Saturday EDT
McDonald's is bringing the McRib back but its delaying it until late December as part of a strategy to parlay the sandwich's popularity into a year-end sales surge.
Advertising Age reported Monday that the debut of the once-a-year sandwich from McDonald's will be pushed back from late October to the second half of December this year as the fast-food chain looks to bolster fourth-quarter sales.
The sauce-slathered pork sandwich will appear during the holiday season along with a bigger advertising push that emphasizes its "high-quality pork" and "unique taste," according to Ad Age.
McDonald's will fill the void left by the McRib this autumn by offering a Cheddar Bacon Onion Angus burger as well as a similar chicken sandwich, according to the report. In February, the chain is expected to roll out the Fish McBites, about a year after it successfully launched a poultry version.
McDonald's first system-wide introduction of the McRib was 20 years ago, in February 1982.
By July 1983, however, the chain had begun withdrawing the pork sandwich from some of its restaurants, according to an article by the L.A. Times/Washington Post News Service published in the former Jacksonville Journal in September 1983.
The McRib did eventually come off the menu only to return in 1989. Six years later, in November 2005, McDonald's announced a "farewell tour" of the sandwich. Since then, McDonald's has brought back the sandwich for a limited run each year in late October or early November in select markets.
One superfan has even created the McRib Locator website, which allows fans to report McRib sightings so other fans can find their favorite menu item.
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