McDonald’s Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD -0.39% cult favorite the McRib is back on the menu starting Wednesday, the latest big name on the fast-food chain’s lineup.
The McRib, which is back nationwide for the first time since 2012, is made with boneless pork, BBQ sauce, onions and pickles on a “homestyle” bun.
McDonald’s began rolling out the McRib on Monday through a partnership with No-Shave November, offering a free sandwich to the first 10,000 people who submitted a picture of a clean-shaven face with a sweepstakes hashtag.
Now the McRib is available to everyone for a limited time.
The Travis Scott meal not only boosted sales at McDonald’s, but also sparked a bestseller on streetwear reseller StockX. The Travis Scott x McDonald’s Crew T-Shirt , which was initially given to McDonald’s workers, was popular on Black Friday. StockX says it has sold 6,500 shirts since September.
McDonald’s said during its recent investor event that menu innovation would be a focus, using social media and “deep cultural relevance” to drive engagement and sales.
“When we announced the Travis Scott Meal back in September, we hit multiple records across our social media platforms,” Morgan Flatley, the company’s chief marketing officer, said during the November event, according to a FactSet transcript.
“[I]t’s already happening on McRib, exciting rabid fandom in advance of its return. We’ll keep reaching for those big breakthrough creative ideas that drive action, put our brand in the cultural conversation, and ultimately give more customers a reason to keep visiting McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s is leaning into its core menu, including the Quarter Pounder, made with fresh beef, and chicken sandwiches. A new Crispy Chicken Sandwich is coming to the menu in 2021.
The company has also announced a new plant-based burger, the McPlant, though the company has been reluctant to discuss its partnership with Beyond Meat Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211617595/composite BYND +1.10%
The McPlant will also debut next year.
“We expect a ’21 enhanced chicken sandwich, coffee improvements, and McDonald’s plant-based platform (McPlant) will provide buzz and help drive guest count,” wrote UBS analysts led by Dennis Geiger in a recent note.
“And innovative and efficient marketing (including additional celebrity partnerships) with leading value should complement the new offerings.”
UBS rates McDonald’s stock neutral with a $230 price target.
BTIG analysts say McDonald’s is “one of the strongest restaurant concepts in the world that is in the middle stages of a multi-year sales recovery.” However, the menu isn’t exactly groundbreaking.
“[The Crispy Chicken Sandwich] fills in what has been a competitive gap and seeks to build on the recent success of Spicy Chicken Nuggets, which helped deliver double-digit comps in September,” analysts led by Peter Saleh wrote.
“We don’t see either of these new offerings as very innovative as McDonald’s has offered the McRib in the past, had a standard chicken sandwich and tried spicy items previously with little success. In our view, it is the marketing that is driving awareness to these products and reviving their sales potential.”
BTIG rates McDonald’s stock buy with a $245 price target.
McDonald’s stock is down 1% for the past three months, but has gained 7.2% for the year to date. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.38% is up 5.1% for 2020 to date.