Moving a major commodities market
After a multi-year hiatus, McDonald’s was ready to take the McRib nationwide. In 1981 McDonald’s estimated that it could sell up to 80 million McRib sandwiches during a multi-week trial across 8,000 US restaurants. Despite no idea if the new menu item would become a permanent fixture after its limited release, the pork trading market went… hog wild.
According to the October 19, 1989 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Hog and pork belly futures rose yesterday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on news that McDonald's Corporation, the world's largest fast-food franchiser, would add a pork sandwich to its US menu…The news brightened the outlook for pork, which had dimmed on an apparent shift in supermarket advertising away from pork.”
Pork traders rejoiced (and likely got rich). The rest of the country just headed to the golden arches to get their fix before the elusive sandwich disappeared again.