Eight McDonald’s locations in Michigan are giving limited edition Szechuan sauce with orders of Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. The sauce was a demand by fans of Cartoon Network’s show “Rick and Morty.” Recorded Oct. 7, 2017.
Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press
John Kreger and Breanna Havell got in line at the McDonald’s on Woodward Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. today to be one of only 40 customers in Detroit who would be lucky enough to snag the limited-edition Szechuan sauce that the fast-food chain made available nationwide for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Havell, number 19 in line and of St. Clair Shores, and Kreger, number 20 and from Eastpointe, were among hundreds who wrapped around the building hoping to try the sauce made popular by Cartoon Network Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” show.
They each got a packet of the sauce with their orders of Buttermilk Crispy Tenders when it became available at 2 p.m., sharing one and keeping the other as a collectors item — despite the occasional flash of a $100 bill in the window from fellow customer Shannon Robedeau of Detroit. Robedeau was No.58 in line and said she was hoping to get a packet for her boss, who is a collector.
“We can probably try and sell our opened package,” Kreger, 20, joked, after he and Havell, 22, took their first bite each. Kreger described it as a sweet, plum teriyaki sauce and Havell described it as similar to teriyaki jerky.
History of the sauce
The Szechuan sauce was first released by McDonald’s in 1998 as a promotional tie-in for the Disney movie “Mulan,” and more recently received attention when it appeared in the Season 3 premiere of the Cartoon Network’s “Rick and Morty” show in April.
For Rick Sanchez, one of the title characters in the cartoon , his ambition in life is to get another taste of the fast-food chain’s discontinued Szechuan sauce.
“That’s what this is all about, Morty,” said Sanchez, a scientist, in the April 1 episode, as he towers over Morty and is foaming at the mouth. “I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty!”
Havell, who is a fan of “Rick and Morty,” said that the cartoon was her motivation to get the sauce today.
“I’ve never watched a cartoon that’s brought in some random product and just is like, ‘We’re gonna advertise this because we want this back,'” said Havell, who described herself as a lifelong cartoon enthusiast.
With only 40 sauce packets available at its Midtown location, and only 200 sauces across eight locations statewide, it was only natural that some customers would leave feeling disappointed.
Angela Watson, 42, of Northville said that she and her son’s father, Dwayne Hawthorne, split duties: Watson and their son Alexander Hawthorne, 15, went to the Midtown location, while Hawthorne, of West Palm Beach. Fla, postponed his flight back home today until 4 p.m. so he could go to the Ann Arbor location to get the sauce for his son.
Neither Hawthorne nor Watson were successful. Watson said.
Watson said that someone gave her son No. 96, and that he was able to get a McDonald’s hot mustard-themed sticker. In addition to the sauce, the McDonald’s location also had 10 posters and 40 stickers of various sauces that were available to customers, according to McDonald’s spokeswoman Lynn Haliburton.
“It’s a big disappointment,” Watson said after four hours of waiting. “It’s OK to make something limited—but that limited?”
Haliburton said the reason behind the low number of Szechuan sauce packets available was to make it a “coveted item.”
Consider it a success.
Already within hours of the sauce’s release, people took to eBay to sell their sauce packets from as much as $1,000 a pack.
Contact Hasan Dudar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ashley Zlatopolsky contributed to this report.
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