It’s a long road and few products make to it fast food’s most coveted spot – the McDonald’s menu. But pork made the list in August, at least on a regional scale.

The home of the Big Mac featured a breaded-pork-loin sandwich in 400 locations in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. If successful McDonald’s could choose to distribute the sandwich nationwide as a special featured item used for periodic promotions or as a repeated regional offering. A successful example of this is the Johnsonville (pork) brat that has returned to regional Midwest markets each fall  for the past four years. Based on successful performance, the brat is approved for use in 13,500 McDonald’s locations. It will expand to East Coast markets this fall.

Work on the breaded pork-loin sandwich started back in 1998. Originally developed for the Indiana market, the sandwich fits well into McDonald’s attempt at providing its customers with ever-changing products on its “New Tastes” menu.

“The quick-serve restaurants were looking for a way to use a long-time favorite sandwich, says Mark Reding, National Pork Board member from Howardstown, Ky.  “Through new product offerings such as this sandwich, we have opportunities to build demand.”

Indiana pork producers lent an extra hand to the promotion. During the Indiana State Fair, they handed out 80,000 coupons for the sandwich. They also volunteered as “mystery shoppers,” which involved checking in on an assigned participating McDonald’s to see if checkoff-funded supporting promotional materials were in place. Television and other advertising pieces used the “Pork: The Other White Meat” logo.

Results on the number of sandwiches sold or the amount of pork used have not yet been released.