How Much Is A Side Of Bacon? (Explained By Experts)

Bacon, the crispy and savory breakfast staple that has captured the hearts of many, is a beloved food item that can be found in almost every household.

But have you ever wondered how much a side of bacon costs?

With prices fluctuating based on weight, location, and quality, it can be challenging to determine the exact cost of this delicious meat.

In this article, we’ll explore the different factors that affect the price of bacon and provide you with an idea of how much you can expect to pay for a side of bacon.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of bacon pricing!

How Much Is A Side Of Bacon?

The price of a side of bacon can vary depending on several factors, including weight, location, and quality. In the United States, the average price range for a kilogram of side bacon is between US$ 4.44 and US$ 4.45 or between US$ 2.01 and US$ 2.02 per pound.

It’s worth noting that the price of bacon can also vary based on the cut of meat. For example, Berkshire or Kurobuta (black pigs) are known for their well-marbled, distinctively red pork, which can be more expensive than other cuts.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Bacon

There are several factors that affect the cost of bacon, including supply and demand, processing costs, feed costs, labor costs, and animal confinement rules.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the supply and demand of bacon. As people stocked up on food in the early days of the pandemic, butcher shops and meat departments in grocery stores were emptied, causing major issues in the supply chain of the food service market. As the pandemic continued, many meatpacking companies shut down, resulting in many animals being euthanized when they could not be processed. Farmers then reduced their herds to avoid having too much meat supply, thus cutting the amount of pork on the market this year. This decrease in supply combined with strong demand for proteins overall has contributed to an increase in inflation.

Processing costs and feed costs have also played a role in the increase in bacon prices. As processing plants that produce meat products, such as bacon, were unable to fulfill demand due to pandemic-related issues, processing costs increased. Additionally, grains and other feed products increased in cost concurrently, adding pressure for producers to increase prices.

Animal confinement rules have also impacted the cost of bacon. The Farm Confinement Proposition passed in California in 2018 requires pig farmers to maintain more breeding space for animals. Producers are already making arrangements for the additional required real estate and plan to pass along those expenses to consumers. Pig farmers in states other than California are also affected since pork products will not be allowed for sale in California unless the new animal confinement rules are met.

Finally, labor costs have also contributed to the increase in bacon prices. Meat producers that lost workers last year to the pandemic still have not found replacements, with some having to increase wages in order to attract new hires.

Location And Availability Of Bacon

Bacon is widely available in most grocery stores and supermarkets across the United States. Most bacon products are already sliced, making it convenient for consumers to use. However, if you prefer to buy unsliced bacon, it is also available in the form of slab bacon. Slab bacon is typically sold with the rind still on, which you can remove yourself before cooking. Some recipes use large chunks of slab bacon, but since bacon is usually cooked in slices, you’ll usually want to cut it yourself to create slices of your desired thickness.

In addition to pork bacon, there are also other types of bacon available in the market. For instance, you can find beef bacon and lamb bacon, both of which come from the belly of the animal. So if you’re looking for different options to satisfy your taste buds, you can consider trying these alternatives.

The availability and price of bacon can also vary depending on your location. For example, per-capita bacon purchases tend to be highest in Phoenix and lowest in LA. It’s worth noting that bacon prices tend to be much higher in LA than Phoenix. The impact of the initial COVID-19 disruptions is also apparent in the data. There is wide variation in price sensitivity across location and pork product. If you’re interested in finding out how your locale ranks in terms of consumption, prices, or elasticity, you can check out the full report or conduct your own research.

Quality Of Bacon And Its Impact On Price

The quality of bacon can also have a significant impact on its price. Mass-produced bacon is often made using factory farming methods, which can result in lower quality meat due to the use of growth hormones and antibiotics. On the other hand, locally sourced bacon from small farms that use sustainable and ethical practices tends to be of higher quality, resulting in a higher price point.

Furthermore, the curing process can also affect the quality and price of bacon. Bacon that is cured for a longer period of time tends to have a more robust flavor and texture, but it can also be more expensive due to the additional time and labor involved in the process.

The recent supply chain issues and inflation caused by the pandemic have also impacted the quality of bacon available on the market. As meatpacking companies shut down and farmers decreased their herds, some animals were euthanized, resulting in a decrease in pork production. This has led to a shortage of high-quality bacon, which has contributed to the recent price increases.

Comparing Prices Of Different Cuts Of Bacon

When it comes to bacon, not all cuts are created equal. The price of bacon can vary based on the cut of meat, with some cuts being more expensive than others. Here are some of the most popular cuts of bacon and their average prices:

1. Sliced Bacon: Sliced bacon is the most common type of bacon found in grocery stores. As of 2022, a pound of sliced bacon retailed for around $6.96 in the United States.

2. Thick-Cut Bacon: Thick-cut bacon is cut thicker than regular sliced bacon, which gives it a meatier texture. As of 2022, a pound of thick-cut bacon retailed for around $8.99 in the United States.

3. Canadian Bacon: Canadian bacon is a leaner type of bacon that comes from the back of the pig. It is typically sold in round slices and is often used as a topping for breakfast sandwiches. As of 2022, a pound of Canadian bacon retailed for around $8.99 in the United States.

4. Slab Bacon: Slab bacon is sold in large, uncut pieces that can be sliced to your desired thickness. It is often used in recipes that call for diced or cubed bacon. As of 2022, a pound of slab bacon retailed for around $7.99 in the United States.

It’s important to note that these prices are subject to change and can vary depending on your location and where you purchase your bacon. Additionally, higher-end cuts like Berkshire or Kurobuta can be more expensive than traditional cuts due to their unique flavor profile and premium quality.

How To Save Money On Bacon Purchases

If you’re looking to save money on bacon purchases, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.

First, consider buying in bulk. Buying a larger quantity of bacon can often result in a lower price per pound. You can then portion it out and freeze it for later use. This not only saves you money, but also ensures that you always have bacon on hand when you need it.

Another way to save money on bacon is to check for sales and discounts at your local grocery store. Many stores offer weekly specials or coupons that can help you save money on your bacon purchases.

When buying bacon, it’s also important to check the best before dates and choose packages that are headed for the freezer. If you do decide to freeze your bacon, slice the packages in half with a sharp knife and wrap each side tightly in cling wrap. Then, stuff them all into a zip-top freezer bag and freeze. You can thaw them slowly in the fridge, on the counter in under an hour, in a warm oven or frying pan in a few minutes, or in the microwave.

Lastly, consider trying different cuts of bacon. While some cuts may be more expensive, others may be more affordable and still delicious. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuts and brands to find the best value for your money.

By following these tips, you can save money on your bacon purchases without sacrificing quality or taste.

Conclusion: What You Can Expect To Pay For A Side Of Bacon