GARNER, Iowa – You may have noticed at the grocery store that the prices of one popular pork product have been going up.
Bringing home the bacon could be costing you a bit more.
That’s because bacon prices are on the rise. Some consumer reports are placing the blame on a strange virus that was first confirmed in may of this year.
The virus, called Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PED) has been killing large numbers of piglets. But one pork producer we talked to says that’s not what’s causing a price hike.
“Those pigs wouldn’t go to harvest until November so it can’t have any effect now, yet,” explains Jamie Schmidt.
So that leaves one reason for the spike in price; an economic basic: supply and demand.
“Because everybody likes bacon! Really the biggest reason is increased demand for bacon. We’re producing about the same amount of bacon that we have in the past, gradually increasing,” adds Schmidt.
Bacon is becoming a kind of fad lately, with popular cooking shows featuring it, and products like bacon ice cream showing it’s more than just a breakfast food.
“Everybody uses bacon for everything.”
Not to mention the end of summer tends to bring bacon prices up each year.
But consumers we talked to said even if the price of the cured meat breaks their piggy banks, they’re not going to stop buying it anytime soon.
“Most people consider that a staple item and while they may be sensitive to price a little bit on that I think they would still continue to purchase bacon,” says consumer Brent Tjaden.
And to show you how mainstream the bacon fad has become, last year Burger King introduced a bacon ice cream sundae.
Schmidt says that while bacon prices are up, the price of fresh pork is down a little.