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Aug 24, 2010 12:52 PM

The Price of Bacon Has...

It has increased 75% (175% of previous price in recent months.

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  1. i've noticed the prices creeping up. but the sale prices are just as cheap as ever, and there is always one or the other brand on sale.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal

      Yeah, for some reasons, I didn't notice the price increase, but then bacon is usually not the most expensive item I buy, so I probably won't notice it.

    2. Blame China!

      If the Communist Party mandated that every person in China eat one hot dog a day, pork futures would rival those of gold prices ...

      14 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        :) Chinese already eat quiet a bit of pork. Now, when Chinese start to consume more beef, that is when we will notice some major price change.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          From what I understand (from a major pork producer) all pork prices are based on futures, and this goes back to early last year, when swine flu was the big thing. Apparently it WAS the Chinese, they stopped buying our pork because of flu fears, so we stopped growing it, and now a year and a half later there is a smaller supply available. Which is usually why prices go up, last time it was chickens with the avian flu, and a few years back beef due to mad cow. But some commodity pork buyers stocked up knowing it was coming, and they're dumping it on the market right now, hence you can find certain brands on sale. I was warned about this six months ago, just before BBQ season started, so it's not as sudden as you think.

          Also eggs, which have been very cheap the last few months, are skyrocketing, due to the 5 million (or whatever) shortage. The whole west coast isn't going to stop eating eggs, they just get them from the east. Dairy in general is noticibly up, those prices get set in Chicago for the nation and I'm not sure what they're based on, only that butter is sky high and commodity cheese not far behind. I think we're spoiled because so many prices are subsidized by the government, and we think everything should be set in stone.

          1. re: coll

            pork butt on sale this week at harris-teeter store here for 99 cents/#.

            1. re: alkapal

              Whenever I see pork butt on sale for 89 or 99 cents, I grab it. The butcher knows, he says "Oh time for pulled pork again?" Like I said, some off brands still have cheap meat, I just wish I could get me some bacon for 99 cents like last year.

              1. re: coll

                i hear that!

                i'm planning on using my slow cooker to make some pulled pork with that pork butt.

                i just saw a recipe on a blog that comes form the "bbq cheater's" cookbook, and it looked simple & good. i know there are tons of discussions/recipes here on the 'hound, but sometimes i don't feel like weeding through some older, long threads, ya know?. i'm sure that i'll be tweaking the recipe, and tending toward a eastern carolina Q vibe.

              2. re: alkapal

                Bought one. Rubbed it with olive oil, crushed shallotts, crushed garlic, crushed ginger, sea salt, 21 season salute, YUUUMMMM.

              3. re: coll

                I don't see how the Chinese has that much impact to the recent bacon price increases.

                First, we see a huge bacon price increase, but not pork price increase. (According to that CNN article, the price of bacon is >200% of a year ago. Yet, the retail price for pork was $3.19 per pound in July 2010 and was $2.96 in July 2009.)

                Second, pork export is a small part of our total pork sale. In 2007, pork export made up 14% of the total pork production.

                Third, China is a small part of this export. In 2008, our pork export to mainland China is 8% of our total export and "China + Hong Kong" is 18%. Japan imports more pork from the US at 28%. Let's combine China and Hong Kong together, 18% of 14% is <3%. Less than 3% of our pork goes to China and Hong Kong.


                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Oh there's definitely a pork price increase, ribs were wholesaling for $1.50 last summer and now are around $2 and going up fast. Bacon was cheap all winter, as cheap as it gets, and only in the last few weeks has it doubled. I don't know how they mark up retail meat, but I know my wholesale prices. Pork is mainly slaughtered in January, so that's when we see any major changes. China/swine flu had something to do with the lack of demand, I'll have to ask the person who knows better than me and get back to you on that.

                  1. re: coll

                    :) You are right. The wholesale prices have went up for pork overall, but the retail prices are lagging and will probably go up. Bacon, however, is moving up faster than the rest of the pork products.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I know retail chains lock in/contract prices rather far ahead on certain products, so that might explain it. We're eating our BLTs with no B lately ;-(

                      1. re: coll

                        Really? Do you put in something else in replacement of bacon in your BLT? Maybe ham.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Sometimes fried eggplant slices, but right now the tomatoes are so delicious that I can eat them by themselves on whole wheat, with just salt and pepper. Husband is happy adding mayo and swiss. However I just got back from grocery shopping and broke down and bought a lb anyway, I'm not THAT poor just yet.

                          1. re: coll

                            :) I didn't think bacon is so expensive to the point that people stop eating them all together.

                            Anyhow, I had BLTA instead of BLT when I lived in California. In fact, I didn't know about BLT until later. Anyhow, A = Avacado. Maybe you can try using avacado instead of bacon and see what that tastes like:


                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              You know, I like to put avocado on a sandwich, but the ones you get in California are so much better than what I get here. They are actually like butter, and spreadable. I'm going out there in two weeks and probably will eat too many, my sister has an avocado grove down the street....I also love them plain with just some soy sauce in the middle.

          2. Not shocking given its rise in popularity. I am very much over bacon chocolate, bacon doughnuts, etc.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mels

              But it rises so sharply in merely a few months (not over years).

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                It's the "night club" scam. Create a long line outside and others will want in. Create high prices for an item leads people to believe there is a shortage or the price represents high quality. Humans can't stand the thought of not being able to have something, even if they don't need it.

                1. re: princesspoppycock

                  There's not a shortage exactly, but they did grow less hogs this year based on last year's demand. So they are able to command a higher price as long as there are sales.

            2. Futures contract for pork bellies are in sharp backwardation (the front month contract is more expensive than future months). I don't follow agriculture prices much, but the price for Sept bellies has gone up from around 100 in late July to a close at 144 today. Feb 2011 delivery costs only 105. Just about all food commodities are spiking. Sugar has been quite high for some time now and speculators have piled into wheat after reported problems in Russia, Canada, and Australia

              So there's strong demand for pork belly so companies that aren't big enough to afford to use hedging strategies to keep prices capped are taking a hit on input costs.

              1. So far, the price of my favorite Hungarian bacon has stayed put ... color me happy!