Wholesale prices for fresh pork bellies hit an all-time high of $1.35 a pound, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. That’s more than 50 percent higher than they were a year ago. And those price hikes only mean one thing—bacon prices are going up for consumers, too.
The Journal reported that demand for bacon tends to peak in summer months as supermarkets promote it to coincide with a seasonal jump in consumption of BLT sandwiches by Americans.
“We are seeing a price increase for bacon,” Jim Kenny, an analyst at Urner Barry’s Yellow Sheet, a livestock and poultry research firm, told the Journal. “The question is how much will retailers be able to pass along to consumers.”
We fear those price hikes will be substantial. Besides, sales of bacon have jumped in recent years as restaurants of all kinds have been adding the fatty delicacy to salads, sandwiches and hamburgers.
For example, the Wendy’s chain of quick-service restaurants is beginning to offer a higher-end bacon as part of its “You know when it’s real” marketing efforts. Its new Applewood Smoked bacon is prepared fresh in restaurants, unlike its predecessor, presumably to evoke the bacon’s natural goodness.
A solution: We haven’t considered giving up our beloved bacon, and of course we never will. But we have pulled out the old piggy bank so we can drop our extra change into it for grocery days. Hey, it’s an old strategy, but we never run out of sweet, sweet bacon—no matter the price.