Mark Reynolds, owner and operator of Moberly, Missouri’s Country Meat Shop, says the award-winning Round Bacon is basically the same as the flat bacon, with the exception that it’s mainly a show product. The Round Bacon won the 2017 American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) Best of Show and joined the extensive list of products and awards Reynolds and the Country Meat Shop have compiled over the years.
“It just has a great eye appeal for the case,” Reynolds says.
A spinoff of the shop’s traditional bacon, Reynolds says it just goes through a tumbling process to extract the protein before being stuffed into a net and going through the same cook cycle as the regular bacon. Mainly a show product right now, Reynolds does see the Round Bacon becoming a more regular offering soon.
“It’s something I think we’re going to start promoting a lot more in the future here,” Reynolds says. While the shop does sell some now, some challenges need to be addressed in terms of the best way to prepare it. Rather than take a chance and gambling on customer satisfaction, Reynolds says that educating the consumer on how to properly cook the bacon will set it up for success.
“You don’t want to sell something, have the customer take it home and have a bad experience with it,” Reynolds says.
The same traits that give the product its unique look and case appeal also make the product challenging to cook. Unlike a traditional flat bacon, when a round bacon is cooked in a skillet it will cone, making it more difficult to get an even, good cook. But with the product’s recent success, Reynolds and the team will put more into making it regularly available to loyal customers.
“I think now that we have won with it it’s something we’re going to start promoting and just working on marketing and educating the consumers on how to cook the bacon,” Reynolds says.
Reynolds believes in another marketing aspect unique to the award-winning Round Bacon product – its healthfulness.
“It’s generally a leaner product because it takes a little thinner belly,” he says. “So, for the health-conscious consumer, I think it’s something that they’re going to take ahold of and as long as we educate them on how to go through the cooking process whether it be microwave or oven or use a bacon press, I think it’s something that we’ll start selling a lot of product from.”