In 1987, the National Pork Board started a new campaign, “Pork: The Other White Meat” to educate consumers about the leanness of pork. Back then, there was a stigma around pork; consumers thought there were only a few ways to prepare it, or it wasn’t a healthy meat option. Of course, none of this is true since pork products feature a wide variety of cuts: pork loin, pork chops, ground pork, ham, tenderloins, ribs, and of course, bacon.
The demand for pork products has continued to increase as consumers choose to incorporate more pork into their diets. Debatably, the most touted pork product today is the pork belly, or bacon.
Bacon has become a cultural trend, and it seems people can’t get enough of it. Everyone seems to have a preference for how it should be cooked or what they want to eat with it. There are even entire events dedicated to this pork product In Des Moines, Iowa there is an annual “Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival” and Iowa State University has a student-run event called the “Bacon Expo”. December 30 is even known as Bacon Day!
With a following of loyal consumers, bacon has become more than just a breakfast side. There are the traditional breakfast items, but also bacon cheeseburgers, and bacon bits. And then there are creative chefs, bakers, and restauranteurs who have pushed a step further. We now have bacon donuts, ice cream, candy, beer, and even bacon-flavored lip gloss!
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH BACON
The increase in products and demand in restaurants does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The consumer enthusiasm for this pork product has been positive for the industry and producers alike. In a world when there is a constant push for more sustainable products and consumer awareness, the pork industry has met it in stride, with more transparency and light-hearted marketing efforts to be apart of the publics’ positive food conversation. And it looks like bacon is the perfect product to demonstrate just how delicious pork can be!