By Tiffany Hsu
12:15 PM EDT, September 17, 2012
Fervent fans of the McDonald’s McRib will have to wait past October and November, when the cult favorite usually emerges, until late December, according to a leaked memo.
Instead, the popular, limited-time product 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.
The delayed campaign is a strategy by the burger giant to parlay the McRib’s fanatical fan base into a year-end sales surge. Same-store sales in the U.S. last December soared a whopping 9.8% amid an unseasonably warm winter.
In the autumn void left by the McRib, McDonald’s will offer a Cheddar Bacon Onion Angus burger along with a similar chicken sandwich, according to Ad Age. In February, the chain is expected to roll out the Fish McBites, about a year after it successfully launched a poultry version.
The fast food behemoth had an eventful year. It said last week that it would pre-empt expected federal regulations to post calorie counts on each of its menu boards and drive-throughs nationwide.
The company was a key sponsor of the Summer Olympics in London. It launched oatmeal options and began testing deep-fried chicken wings. This month, its operation in India revealed plans for two all-vegetarian outposts.
But the slowing global economy has done its damage. Last week, McDonald’s said its same-store sales for August improved from July, when the company recorded its lowest comparable-store sales in nine years.
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