Natural bacon more than a niche product

by Erica Shaffer
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Health conscious consumers are driving sales of better-for-you foods. But when it comes to bacon, what’s a health-conscious bacon lover to do? Go natural, of course.

Consumers are questioning the wholesomeness of curing agents like nitrates and nitrites used in most bacon. But in his blog, “No End to the Bacon Trend” Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, noted that bacon remains top-of-mind with consumers despite growing demand for better-for-you products. And as long as consumers want it, producers will continue to innovate in the bacon category.

“Innovation can be built on preparation, spice profiles and mixing the salty, smoky and savory flavor of bacon with sweet and hot,” Tristano wrote. “There seems to be no end to the bacon trend, and we continue to see innovation across the restaurant landscape.”

This chart shows the growth of natural bacon sales in the United States in 2015, by flavor. US Applewood-flavored natural bacon was tops on consumer taste buds — the category grew by 690 percent during the 52-week period ending Aug. 8, 2015.

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