Checkoff-funded promotions are encouraging consumers to use bacon. In an effort to convey pork’s message, the industry has a new media kit, “Bacon as an Ingredient”. Plus, a new retail campaign dubbed, “Bacon Makes it Better,” which is aimed at retailers and foodservice providers. Both promotions are designed to provide consumers with more information on using bacon.

According to the National Pork Board, bacon’s popularity is one of the main factors in the dwindling supply of pork bellies. As of April, there were 43.78 million pounds of pork bellies in cold storage. This is the lowest supply for April in more than five years, and well below the five-year average of 68.554 million pounds.

The low belly supplies can translate to profits for producers. University of Missouri agricultural economist, Glenn Grimes, says the increased price for pork bellies in 2000 exceeded 1999 enough to add $5 per hog.

Bacon’s growing popularity is evident with its increased presence on restaurant menus. Checkoff-funded research shows that 35 percent of bacon purchased today is eaten at meals other than breakfast. Plus, supermarket bacon sales increased 45 percent from 1999 to 2000.