Pork bacon holds the lion's share of units shipped and dollar volumes at restaurants and other foodservice outlets.

CHICAGO – Neither higher prices for pork nor alternative proteins will keep consumers away from pork bacon, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research firm.

Pork bacon continues to hold the bulk share of units and dollar volume shipped to restaurants and foodservice outlets. But bacon varieties such as beef, chicken, duck and turkey are turning consumers' heads and palates, according to NPD's SupplyTrack, which tracks each product shipped from leading broadline distributors to each of their foodservice operators.

“The growth in bacon consumption at foodservice outlets is reflected in the dollar and unit growth in bacon shipments from the broadline foodservice distributors,” said Annie Roberts, vice president, NPD SupplyTrack. “Among the key drivers of bacon unit growth are more consumers visiting restaurants for breakfast, and new and innovative bacon menu offerings, including new types of bacon.”

In the year ending April 2014, the Units shipped in the pork bacon category grew 2.3 percent in spite of dollar volume increases on higher pork prices, according to SupplyTrack. Bacon types other than pork hold a very small unit share, but turkey and chicken registered single-digit unit growth in the year ending April 2014 period while beef bacon units realized double-digits increases and duck triple-digit gains.

NPD noted that quick service and family dining restaurants represent the largest dollar and unit share of the bacon category. The two channels increased units and dollar volume shipped compared to a year ago. Units and dollars shipped to some non-commercial foodservice outlets such as preschools and daycare centers, increased by double-digits, according to NPD.