The survey revealed that the total cost of 16 food items, including bacon, that can be used to prepare one or meals was $51.13, up $1.43 or 3 percent compared to a year ago. Items showing significant price increases included bacon, orange juice and chicken breasts.
“Bacon was up significantly because of the lower inventory and higher prices of pork bellies,” said Dr. John Newton, AFBF’s director of market intelligence. “We saw a rally in wholesale bacon prices this summer and fall which is being reflected at the retail level. Bacon is a sexy food item in restaurants and everywhere else, creating an inventory decline and thus a price increase.”
A seasonal upswing in bacon consumption pushed prices for pork bellies to record highs. Wholesale prices for pork bellies have soared more than 70 percent since the start of 2017, while retail prices for bacon have jumped more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, pork bellies in cold storage are at a 60-year low.
Prices for sliced deli ham advanced 3 percent to $5.62 per lb., while sirloin tip roast prices increased 3 percent to $5.17 per lb., according to AFBF.