Since April, the wholesale price of pork bellies—the cut of meat used to make bacon—has spiked 174%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited by Bloomberg.
What’s to blame for the surge in pricing? The question should instead be posed as who is to blame. And the answer is … you. All of us, really. All of the consumers who crave bacon not only as scrambled egg companions on breakfast platters, but also in milkshakes, inside donuts, and collectively share the responsibility for rising prices.
“It’s really demand that’s driving this,” Ryan Turner, a risk management consultant at FCStone Group, said to Bloomberg. “People are putting bacon on anything.”
Even so, it’s not time to panic. Pork belly prices have soared from what was a five-year low in April. And prices at the retail level have not exploded, at least not hand in hand with their wholesale equivalents.
Supermarket bacon prices started getting cheaper in late 2014 and kept retreating through the early part of the year. Consumer prices today remain lower than last summer, when a pig virus decimated the hog population, causing retail prices to surge nearly 20% year over year.