Bacon: The Culture Behind the Famous Pork Product

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 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 bacon should be cooked or what they want to eat with their bacon. There are even entire events dedicated to this food. 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, bacon cheeseburgers, and bacon bits, but creative chefs, bakers, and restauranteurs have pushed a step further. We now have bacon donuts, ice cream, candy, bacon-flavored beer, and even bacon-flavored lip gloss! These novelty products do not make up the majority of the demand, but definitely add a fun quality to bacon that people would not have predicted even fifty years ago.

The increase in bacon products and the continuous demand for bacon in restaurants do not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, and 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!

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