McDonald’s bringing back McRib in 75% of U.S. restaurants

McDonald's Corp., struggling to boost sales in the U.S., is bringing back the McRib sandwich this week in about three-quarters of its domestic locations.

"The McRib is making its annual return this week," Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company, said in an e-mail today. "It's a regional option, so our franchisees choose whether or not they wish to serve it."

The world's largest restaurant chain has been trying to attract Americans with new and discounted fare. McDonald's recently introduced a $2 jalapeno burger and also has given away free coffees to lure diners from competitors. Last month, the chain said sales at U.S. stores open at least 13 months fell 3.3 percent in the third quarter, the fourth straight quarterly decline.

"They are looking to get a little bit more of a sales lift," said Sara Senatore, a New York-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "Of all the products and all the limited-time offers, this is one that's clearly a cult classic."

The McRib is made from a frozen pork patty and is topped with barbecue sauce, onions and pickles. It has 500 calories, similar to the 530-calorie Big Mac burger, and the average price is $3.08.

McDonald's rose 0.2 percent to $94.64 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 2.5 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index has gained 9.5 percent.

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