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Burger King Readies McRib Challenger

Filed under LTO, QSR Burgers

Burger King this week will announce new summer menu LTOs that include the returns of the Carolina BBQ Whopper/Chicken and Memphis Pulled Pork sandwiches. But there will be one audacious difference: The menu includes a boneless BK Rib Sandwich that can be seen as an answer to rival McDonald’s popular McRib.

Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Fries will be among items returning to Burger King’s menu. They’ll bring a new Rib Sandwich along with them.

Sweet Potato Fries also return from last year’s first “Summer Menu,” and chain sources say Burger King will introduce a BBQ Salad with chicken that is a new product. The Texas BBQ Whopper/Chicken sandwiches from last summer’s menu were not asked back this year. A Burger King spokesperson would not comment on the summer LTO lineup.

McRib first appeared on the McDonald’s menu as a limited-time offer in 1981. It was offered in the U.S. back in December. Since its creation, it has reappeared irregularly while building a very loyal fan base (see @McRibWatch on Twitter) that clamors for it to be offered permanently. Its popularity is global. McDonald’s stores in Austria last year introduced a deep-fried-patty version called McRibster. And Australian consumers cheered when the Atlanta Pork McRib arrived there last summer as part of a special Summer Olympics menu.

During those 32 years, no other QSR has developed a serious competitor for McRib. In May 2010, Burger King rolled out Fire-Grilled Ribs, bone-in ribs with barbecue sauce. Despite a steep price—an 8-piece meal was $9 or more in some markets—the product sold well, according to the chain. It has not been repeated, however. But Burger King, with its open-flame grills, is well positioned to create a boneless BBQ rib product that could give McRib some competition. Details of Burger King’s summer menu will be released later this week.

7 Responses to Burger King Readies McRib Challenger

  1. Betty Sternal

    I miss the ribs that Burger King offered last year. They were expensive but worth every penny. It was not a sandwich, just the ribs. I’ve been hoping those babyback type ribs would return.

  2. Burger King has the best BURGERS and fries ,I’m sure their ribs will be of the same quality!

  3. Can you please ask Burger King to please use real rib meat instead of internal organ meat like McDonalds does?Thank You.

  4. Benji

    Burger King could easily steal this market with anything half way good. The McRib should be called McCartilege, it tastes like gritty knuckles.

  5. Wayne Conrad

    I tried those ribs that Burger King had before and they were terrible. The turkey sandwich was a big hit for me, I wish it were permanent. We’ll see how the Rib sandwich goes, I never tried the pulled pork before.

  6. Alan Srout

    Bring back the big Iowa-style pork tenderloin sandwiches! Delicious!!

  7. matt

    burger king please bring back the bbq pulled pork sandwich.