DES MOINES – Bacon continues riding high at the foodservice level, thanks to restaurants like Wendy’s that are finding innovative new ways to add more bacon to the menu. Popular options range from the Baconator sandwich to the new Bacon and Blue Hamburger, which includes fresh-cooked applewood smoked bacon and blue cheese crumbles, according to the National Pork Board.

“Wendy’s, which is the fifth-largest restaurant chain in the world, has always been a very good partner for us,” said Paul Perfilio, national foodservice marketing manager for the Pork Checkoff. “They want to be known for bacon cheeseburgers, and this is good news for pork producers.”

Earlier this year, the N.P.B. hosted a Vendor Appreciation Day when board members met in Columbus, Ohio. Board members and key Pork Board staff had the opportunity to visit Wendy’s Innovation Center to learn more about Wendy’s product development and see how the chain works to broaden the appeal of pork.

Tim Bierman, N.P.B. president, and N.P.B. chief executive officer Chris Novak also presented Wendy’s executives with an award for marketing innovation in bacon.

“We appreciate the added effort that operators like Wendy’s make to add more bacon and pork to their menus,” Mr. Perfilio said. “We don’t know where the bacon trend will lead, but we’re enjoying this opportunity to promote pork while helping restaurant chains like Wendy’s stay ahead of the curve and meet their goals.”

"Bacon is a big part of the pork business today, and it goes way beyond breakfast,” Mr. Perfilio said. “We’re pleased that a number of restaurant operators have come to us to learn more about bacon, and we continue to work with our chain partners to help them learn more about bacon’s possibilities.”