US won't run out of bacon, but reserves are low

Posted at 12:28 PM, Feb 01, 2017

There is less bacon in the U.S. reserve supply, but we're not going to run out.

Demand is extremely high, and it's hard to keep up. That's the message the Ohio Pork Council gave to The New York Times when it questioned stories about a potential bacon shortage: A representative interviewed said the council created the website as a marketing opportunity.

The Ohio Pork Council told USA Today the demand for frozen pork belly (which is used to make bacon) cannot keep up with supplies from pig farmers around the country, even with producing more pigs than ever.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the frozen pork belly inventory in December 2016 was 17.8 million pounds, the lowest level since 1957. Because of the low supply, pork belly prices are rising: up 20 percent in January 2017. 

While the supplies are lower than usual, there is not a risk for suppliers to run out of product entirely, Deaton said.