Inflation has increased the costs of food across the board, but some foods are creeping up in price faster than the rest. Tasty bacon brightens up burgers and desserts alike. Expect to pay more than ever for some thick slabs of pork belly due to the continuing drought in California. As the water levels drop lower and lower in crucial agricultural areas, feed prices are skyrocketing for the pigs who get turned into bacon.
The prices for this specific meat item have increased at an amazing rate, having risen three times faster than the inflation rate since 2008. Another contributing factor is a virus that affects piglets. This deadly illness first struck the industry in 2013 and has killed millions of pigs destined for the slaughterhouse. Nearly 12% of the total piglets aimed for the market were lost to this virus, creating a major gap.
Of course, the demand for bacon continues to grow despite the rising prices and trouble in the industry. It takes a full nine months to go from a newborn piglet to a plate of bacon and pork chops, so it’s hard for producers to adjust their production numbers as demand rises and falls.