Benjamin Berkowitz

McDonald's Szechuan Sauce, So Popular It Caused Riots, Is Back in Stores

What to Know

  • Szechuan Sauce, a condiment that came and went from McDonald's 20 years ago, is back in stores as of Monday
  • It returned for one day in 2017, inspired by the show "Rick and Morty," and heavy demand led to riots
  • The chain will also bring back the minty green Shamrock Shake, an annual tie-in to St. Patrick's Day

It's back! McDonald's limited-release Szechuan sauce — so popular it caused riots when it ran out — returned to stores Monday morning. 

McDonald's said Sunday it had shipped 20 million sauce packets across the United States to stock every one of its restaurants in preparation for Monday's re-release. 

At McDonald's on 7th Avenue and 34th Street, owner Jim Lewis said there should be enough sauce for everyone this year, after his store saw lines out the door in 2017.

"We don't think we'll have any problems this year," he said. "Last time we did this we had very limited supplies, we were maybe, to be honest, a little suprised with how big the promotion became, so we decided to bring it back and make sure all our clients were happy."

Last October, the restaurant chain brought back a limited batch of the spicy, slightly sweet dipping sauce for a day, but grossly underestimated America's appetite for it, which was in part driven by pop culture.

The sauce was originally a limited-time promotional tie-in for the movie "Mulan" in 1998. The animated series "Rick and Morty" features a character who fawns over the condiment, which led to a petition for the Golden Arches to bring it back.

Never one to miss a good promo, McDonald's brought it back for one day last year - but badly underestimated demand, which led to furious crowds that in some places required police intervention.

At McDonald's on 7th Avenue and 34th Street, owner Jim Lewis said there should be enough sauce for everyone this year.

"We want to make this right," the chain tweeted on Oct. 8, promising to bring the sauce back in greater quantities soon. 

Get in quick if you want a taste -- there's only 16 sachets for every one American citizen.

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