Bacon Prices: Where They've Been and Where They're Going

Bacon strips

We’re just over a month away from International Bacon Day 2016 (it’s Saturday, September 3)! So, it seems like a good time to take a look at price trends for everyone’s favorite pork product.

For those of you who don’t have time to read this whole post, here’s the short version: Bacon prices will likely continue to go up!

Bacon prices: Where they’ve been

Over the past 20 years, bacon prices have skyrocketed as bacon mania has taken hold. What used to be a lowly breakfast meat is now the starring ingredient in everything from martinis to ice cream. (Even vegetarians have a hard time resisting bacon. They can’t help it — it smells good.)

It isn’t just Americans’ desire for bacon that has exploded — bacon prices have as well. Between 1995 and 2015, the average retail price of a pound of sliced bacon increased more than 250%, from $2.17 to $5.73, with a huge jump occurring in 2013. This increase happened even as pork prices on average dropped 3% to 5%.

So far this summer, bacon prices have actually fallen slightly, from $5.55 in May to $5.37 in June. The decrease coincided with a drop in grocery prices overall. However, bacon is still up 6% compared to May 2015.

Bacon prices: Where they’re going

Despite the recent small dip, there is little reason to believe that bacon is headed for a sustained downward trend anytime soon.

Here are some highlights from Bloomberg’s pork outlook from earlier this year:

  • Americans are expected to consume more pork this year than they have since 2007.
  • Demand for pork is rising both in the United States and abroad.
  • Pork is still much less expensive than beef, and wholesale pork is still significantly below its five-year average.

While the year is certainly looking good, Bloomberg cautions against looking too short-term. Farmers tend to send more hogs to processing plants in the second half of the year, which may cause prices to decrease as the supply goes up.

Overall, however, the seemingly insatiable demand for bacon will likely continue to drive price increases for the foreseeable future.

P.S. If you need some inspiration for your International Bacon Day celebration, here are 10 ideas from Bacon Today.

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