Prices for part of hog used to make bacon hit record highs, as pig farmers struggle to keep up with demand
Once considered an unhealthy byproduct, bacon has become a guilty pleasure—with prices to match. Photo: iStock
A national craving for bacon is pushing U.S. pork-belly prices to record highs.
Prices for the part of a hog used to make bacon have risen around 80% this year, while frozen reserves are at a six-decade low. Americans bought around 14% more bacon at stores in 2016 than in 2013, according to market-research firm Nielsen.
“The consumer has simply woken up to the joy of having bacon on more and more things,” said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone in Kansas City, Mo.`
Once considered a more unhealthy byproduct of a hog compared with prized cuts like pork chops and tenderloin, bacon has become a guilty pleasure amid a broader embrace of fatty meats. In the past decade, bacon has popped up on menus far from BLT’s and breakfast specials. The craze has gained pace this year.