If there’s one thing McDonald’s knows, it is how to make us buy their fast food. Their latest idea – to take McRibs off of the menus at McDonald’s across the USA on 5 Dec – has had many people rushing to their nearest drive-thru to get their hands on as many as possible whilst the going is good.
Cultural Movements around food is nothing new, but McDonald’s insistence on keeping the McRib as a limited, scarce item leaves us yearning for more, and as such there’s an awful lot of buzz online about just how wonderful the McRib is.
Limited time offers in this business are not new. But what is new is a backwards-limited time offer. Get it before it’s gone forever!
Scarcity is the new premium, even in the case of mass food. Scarcity creates action and action these days creates sales and mass fan followings. Especially when your favourite food is going going one!
But getting back to McRib for a moment, there are many Facebook fan groups dedicated to the McRib, reports USA Today. There was even a campaign to spread its meaty joy, with McRib lovers offering to take its goodness across the border to Canada, where McRibs are currently unavailable.
Whether it was serious or not is irrelevant – people wanted to be part of it, to be with the ‘in crowd’. Because food is the one area over which we can all connect. Find someone who likes the same food as you and you’re always going to have something to talk about.
But will limited availability really be just that? How many times have brands secured a sale based on our inherent need to ‘get it before it’s gone’ – only to later find it permanently on the shelf ‘due to popularity’?
Well, apparently McDonalds are insisting they will be true to their word, and the McRib will indeed vanish at least for now, anyway. And when it’s gone, rest assured you won’t be alone in missing it – just look online, I’m betting we will see some kind of ‘McRib Withdrawal Support Group.’ Food for thought: Aren’t Cultural Movements amazing?