The Marginal Cost of the McRib

Photo: IRuocaled

McDonald’s has reintroduced its McRib sandwich. Consisting of meat that at one point belonged to a pig, it is now on yet another farewell tour, its sixth since 2004.  (Actually, the first three were called “Farewell Tour,” the last three have been called “Reintroduction.”) The website the Awl.com points out that the reintroductions of this unusual product have all coincided with downturns in the price of pork. 

Seems reasonable to me: Mickey D’s assumes there is some best price for the McRib and compares it to the marginal cost, exactly as in our introductory textbooks. When the marginal cost drops sufficiently (and presumably the price of pork is the most variable item in costs), back comes the McRib.  (HT to CVB)

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  1. bill whelpley says:

    I am shocked… the Mcrib has pork? i looked like gelatin!!

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  2. Miguel Barrientos says:

    You may be interested in analyzing pork prices further using our historical commodity prices data at http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=pork&months=360 The price chart in the Awl.com article was downloaded from our web site.

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  3. Sara says:

    I just thought they had to wait to stock up on boneless pigs…

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  4. MW says:

    When I lived in New Jersey about 20 years ago, there were Persian Rug stores which (judging by radio advertising) existed solely for the purpose of holding going-out-of-business sales. There was no time when there wasn’t at least one Persian-Rug-going-out-of-business-sale being advertised. I didn’t take note of the store names, so I’m not sure whether they held 4 year long going-out-of-business sales, whether they cycled the same stores between in business and going out of business (the McRib model), or whether they kept starting new rug businesses for the purpose of going out of business later.

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  5. Rainman says:

    Oh Yum. Are these coming to Australia? I want to eat one now.

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  6. Randy says:

    Mixing McRib and math seems oddly profane.

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