Over the weekend, Rick and Morty fans had the opportunity to do what Rick Sanchez has been unable to do for an entire series, and maybe even many more seasons to come: get their hands on that sweet Szechuan sauce.
The limited edition condiment was released by Mcdonald’s in 1998 as a cross-promotion with Disney’s 1998 film Mulan. It seems like a clever enough promotion by McDonald’s, but they were woefully unprepared for the demand from Rick and Morty fans for the coveted sauce.
Fans of the science fiction cartoon turned up to their local McDonald’s to get hold of the sauce, only to discover that the sauce was more limited than they thought. This lead to chaos in front of McDonald’s restaurants across America.
The sauce was only available in tiny packets, the same that ketchup usually comes in and McDonald’s locations received anywhere from 20 sauce packets to 70 sauce packets. This was nowhere near enough to satisfy the appetite of Rick and Morty fans. The limited edition posters were even less abundant.
Even in the less populated areas, demand was infinitely higher than what was available. In the Midwest, roughly 300 people showed up to the location in South Bend, Indiana and there were only 20 sauce packets available and only two Szechuan sauce posters made available.
This is a PR stunt that went from bad to worse as the police had to be called to several outlets as queues started to get angry and chanted “we want sauce” after waiting for hours. A restaurant in Newark had angry customers holding up protest signs to demand the sauce they had come for.
Some stores reached crowds of over 1000 and in some parts of the US, fans came across stores that hadn’t even received the promised sauce, with staff just as confused as the customers as they were not aware of any promotion whatsoever.
It’s safe to say McDonald’s attempt to bring back Szechuan sauce after Rick and Morty fans demanded it didn’t go as planned. When the police have to get involved to stop riots, you know you’ve done something wrong. Packets that were attained, started to sell for ridiculous amounts on eBay too.
After thousands of people took to Twitter to complain about the lack of Szechuan sauce at locations around the country, the company says it’ll be bringing back the sauce for a nation-wide release.
A statement from the company reads “Yesterday, we were truly humbled by the amazing curiosity, passion and energy this community showed to welcome back Szechuan Sauce-even if just for one day. Thank you, a million times over.”
The heartfelt statement goes on, and whilst it highlights the company’s flaws and intention to rectify its mistakes, it does not confirm when the sauce will come back exactly. What we do know is that it’ll be back “once again in the winter” and that it won’t be for “one day only and limited to select restaurants.” I would book off all of the holiday season just to make sure you get it.