Fever for the flavor

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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Different flavors seem to suit different styles of bacon, and while processors continue to experiment with innovative flavor combinations the classics just can’t be beaten.

 

Data from Nielsen and Red Arrow show that apple cinnamon and black pepper were the highest-selling flavors of uncured bacon in 2015 at $3.91 million and $3.67 million in sales, respectively. Meanwhile, jalapeno was a popular flavor in the natural bacon category with approximately $872.2 million in sales in 2015.

In his blog, “No End to the Bacon Trend” Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, said there seems to be no end to consumer demand for bacon and flavor adventures.

“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.”

Patrick Fleming, director of market intelligence and innovation at the National Pork Board, noted that consumers now have different options in smoke used to flavor bacon, including pecan, apple wood, hardwoods and even oak barrel.

But classic bacon flavors continue to perform well — hickory-flavored bacon led sales of cured bacon with approximately $46.33 million followed by maple with sales of $11.61 million in 2015. Hickory flavored-bacon dominated sales of natural bacon in 2015 with approximately $962.2 million in sales.

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