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.”