Mmm. Bacon. Currently America’s favorite meat. While Americans are finding millions of new ways to incorporate this salty ingredient into everyday food items, the markets, butchers, and fast food chains are trying to find ways to keep their costs down. Private butchers are selling a pound of bacon for up to $8.98, groceries are charging $6.11 for a pound, and fast food chains are charging up to $5.00 for a burger with bacon on it. Fast food chains are also watching their budget by ensuring that they are making the best deal possible for themselves. They are raising prices of their items that contain bacon during this second half of the year while cutting down on the amount of bacon they put on each item. When interviewed, over 90 percent of the fast food chains say they will be raising prices on items that include bacon.
These high prices have two main factors. First, the overall supply and demand has increased the price dramatically. With a long turnaround time for the bacon, it is difficult to keep the supply up with the demand. Therefore, higher prices (one would think) will work to lower the demand a miniscule amount. This is not the case, the demand is higher than ever, and private butchers are raising prices ever six to eight months on their bacon because the demand just keeps skyrocketing. Based on the government’s price tracking, bacon prices have risen more than 3 times that of the inflation rate since 2008. The second reason for the high pricing is the virus that has swept the nation and killed more than 7 million piglets since the commencement of 2013. This has decreased the country’s pork supply by over 12%. However, it is the nation’s hunger for this salty meat that has given the biggest push to higher pricing.
Adapted from an article in the business section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on August 22, 2014.