Bacon Prices Hit an All-Time High

Image: Bacon Prices Hit an All-Time High (Bottaci/iStock)

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 02:41 PM

By John Blosser

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If you love the delicious sizzle, heady aroma and pleasant, fatty crunch of crisp bacon, be prepared to hit the ATM before you order that BLT.

The cost of bacon is soaring, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, as reported in the New York Post, rising 10 percent this year to a record high of $6.11 per pound, and there's no immediate end in sight.

The Huffington Post says that bacon is 21 percent pricier than it was in the early 1980s, even taking overall inflation into account, which is at about 2 percent per year or just a fifth the rise in the price of bacon.

Last year, a porcine diarrhea virus hit 30 states in the U.S. and Mexico and millions of pigs died. Add to that a 7 percent drop in U.S. pork production, according to Fox News, and that pound of bacon could buy you a four-pound chicken, three dozen eggs, six pounds of kale and a six-pack of beer with which to wash it all down.

Exactly what will happen to pork prices in the near future is questionable. Will Sawyer, Rabobank International's vice president of U.S. animal protein research, told Bloomberg that costs have not peaked yet, while Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics in Des Moines, told Bloomberg that he anticipates prices may peak this month.

The USDA believes that pork price increases will outstrip the forecast 2.5-3.5 percent increase for all foods, recently raised its pork price increase estimates to 5.5-6.5 percent and anticipates a 3-4 percent increase next year, Bloomberg reports.

Meanwhile, the USDA says pork production will drop to 22.8 billion pounds this year, by 1.8 percent, according to Bloomberg.

However, that has not deterred hardcore bacon lovers from enjoying their favorite meat-treat, according to Nielson ratings, which showed an increase of 11 percent in bacon sales, rising to $4.2 billion last year.

"I don't think we're going to see real damage to bacon demand at all," Meyer told Bloomberg.

Thomas Perone of Pig Guy NYC told the Post, "The price of pork is through the roof right now. It's ridiculous."

However, Peter Sherman who owns BarBacon in New York said, "You're talking about a product that every American has a craving for," and Vincent Santiago of Staubitz meat market in Brooklyn, noting that a half-pound of bacon has gone up about a dollar in the last month, added to the Post, "People are still buying it."

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