The McRib is back on the menu at McDonald's nationwide for the first time since 2012. Of course, the elusive sandwich makes regional appearances as it did here in Sioux Falls a couple of years ago.

The last time it was in Sioux Falls I introduced the McRib to my wife. I was shocked that she never had it considering she likes McDonald's. She didn't understand the hype and will stick with her favorite McNuggets.

But if you're like me and have wondered why McDonald's doesn't make the McRib a permanent fixture on the menu, I might have found an answer that goes beyond the obvious hype the company receives from each comeback.

Pork prices. There is a theory that the hog prices have a direct impact on the company's decision to roll out its press-formed patty. Makes sense.

After the collapse of the economy in March 2020, thanks to government-mandated business shutdowns, hog prices dropped from $70 to $50. That price lasted for months and the theory is McDonald's was able to scoop up pork on the cheap.

And it isn't just 2020, there seems to be a trend over the years of low pork prices and the McRib return. Since 2000, the McRib's return correlates to a drop in pork.

Whether this pork price theory is true or not, there is one for-sure reason I believe McDonald's will never make the McRib a permanent menu -- hype.

You have to admire the marketing genius of it all. I bet the company receives millions in free advertising from people talking about the sandwich, including this story. There is even a McRib locator. What other fast food pork shaped patty sandwich can claim that?

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