“That’ll do Pig. That’ll Do”

Every time a product is created, its destiny is to live through its product cycle, until it reaches its final phase. And then it dies. As we’ve learned, the product goes through four phases: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. One product that we all know and love has hit the first three of its phases, but is its decline imminent?

And that product is ….

It’s so good….you have to hide it.


Bacon, the delectable, cured meat that comes from the back, belly, and sides of a pig, is distinctly known for its fatty and smokey taste. According to the the article, The Bacon Boom Was Not An Accident, “in the past decade, bacon has grown into an industry generating more than $4 billion in annual sales.” This is an incredible feat for the once “breakfast-only” meat. 

When bacon was in its introductory phase, this pork belly meat was still being tweaked for its market. Consumers only bought this meat as a side with their breakfast, or when the tomatoes were ripe for a good ‘ole BLT sandwich. Bacon was only consumed in a “predictable, seasonal pattern.”

Everything changed in the 1980s, as new “health and diet trends transformed the American food industry.” These new trends influenced consumers to “eat lean meat, avoid saturated fats and cholesterol, and ultimately created a fat phobia.” The pork industry defied the phobia and launched a new campaign that was pro-pork. This “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign enhanced the product demand for lean pork cuts. With the aid of advertising and marketing firms, “the Pork Marketing Board positioned the pig as a sort of four-legged chicken.” Bacon, through its pork industry’s efforts, emerged victoriously through its growth phase as a now stabilized product in its already existing market.

During the 90s and early millennium, bacon entered its maturity phase and became the new craze. Bacon was finally featured everywhere, from fast food restaurant chains to grocery stores. People were buying bacon because they loved the taste, and did not care if the fatty food posed any health risks. “Sales of bacon increased dramatically, and vastly more variety appeared in the form of brands, cuts, flavors, and sizes.” To name just a few of the varieties, we can buy thick cut, center cut, low sodium, applewood smoked, and peppercorn bacon. In some areas, we have gourmet flavored bacon foods, which include ice cream, coffee, gum, potato chips, and cheese spreads. Even our pets are getting in on the bacon craze with bacon now being prominent within pet food.

Bacon is no longer your mother’s baked pork and beans. The popularity of bacon has caused meat packers to be more competitive to obtain a higher market share. Surprisingly, although their is stiff competition for market shares, “pork bellies, long dormant, began moving up in price, from under 30¢ per pound in 1989, to almost a dollar in 2006.” The prices have significantly changed “from about $3 a pound in 2005 to around $5.40 today, according to government statistics.” Even with the prices rising for bacon and pork cuts, people are still willing to buy this product, and there doesn’t seem to be a decline in sight. 

When do you think bacon will hit its decline phase? Will it ever hit its decline phase? Will you still pay top dollar for your bacon fix?


Article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-06/bacon-why-americas-favorite-food-mania-happened#r=most%20popular

Gif #1: tumblr_mqq4feeihi1s4cw17o1_250.gif

Gif #2: tumblr_mw2pvcTen51siiiglo1_500.gif

15 thoughts on ““That’ll do Pig. That’ll Do”

  1. This was an very interesting article to read. I myself, unlike every person I know, am not a bacon lover but your write-up went it to great detail in regards to product life cycle. In my opinion I do not bacon hitting a decline phase anytime soon. If you go to the Lincoln Park campus you will notice ever one block radius contains a great breakfast place such as, Nookies, or Jam and Honey. Breakfast food for lunch or dinner is more popular than ever and I do anticipate the trend reversing. The trend certainly will not be reversed if McDonald’s finally gives in and offers all day breakfast which so many consumers have called for. I could potentially see price being a deterrent, but there will still be a vast majority, almost cult like group, of people who will buy bacon regardless of the cost.

  2. Like the previous commenter, I do not think that there will be a decline in the bacon trend any time soon. Price will eventually lower the amount of people buying bacon, or determine how frequent they buy the bacon, but I don’t think it will ever get to a point where the price will be driven back down due to low demand. The bacon phase is much like the Apple/iphone phase as well. No matter how much of an increase in price the newest iphone has, there will always be people waiting in line for days just to get the phone on the first day. Eventually, like with bacon, the craze will decrease, but there will always be the followers and lovers of the product that will continue to buy the product no matter what the cost is.

  3. I found this post to be very interesting. I personally do not eat any bacon, but I have to agree with the previous commentators that I do not think bacon sales will decline anytime soon, yet it is possible in the far future due to the higher focus on healthy eating. Even though it might decline one day in the future, there will still be some people who will continue to purchase it. A lot of people’s diets contain meat especially bacon. Different companies and food manufacturers found a way to make bacon into so many different varieties. This expanded their market and increased sales. People put bacon on their pizza, eggs and some even on ice cream.. There are events and even restaurants that are dedicated to the bacon trend, so I do not think this decline will happen anywhere in the near future.

  4. Interesting take, but I don’t think that bacon is the best representation of product life cycles. I could be wrong, but bacon is not a product that could be improved upon its “design” to keep consumers interested. All that aside, I think it is possible to see a decline in bacon sales if the price climbs above certain threshold where it becomes unappealing for consumers. Healthier eating habits may also change add to that, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  5. In America, I don’t believe that bacon will ever phase out. That being said, bacon hitting its decline phase has a very slim possibility. I agree that people are putting bacon in many of their products. It is even normal to see bacon in salads. If it ever does hit its decline phase, some major health issue would have to occur. I say major because many Americans are obese, and that still does not slow down the consumption. For the last question of paying top dollar to get my bacon fix, of course. Bacon is amazing!

  6. This was a really interesting post! I really liked how you were able to connect bacon to operations management. It was interesting seeing the history of bacon and moving through the product life cycle with it. I never knew about how the pork industry was able to use the phobia scare to craete a new marketing push for their product. To answer your question, Yes, I do think eventually bacon will hit its decline. I don’t know when, but I’m pretty sure it will happen. Consumers will eventually be looking for something else or some new food will come along that will lower the demand on bacon. However for now, I think it is safe to say that bacon will not be decling anytime soon.

  7. I really enjoyed this! I never noticed how much bacon has grown in past decades but your post does a great job of analyzing the products life cycle and where it stands now. I personally do not feel bacon will decline in price and nor will it go into its final phase in the cycle, decline, anytime soon. My reasoning for this is because, like you said, bacon can be used for breakfast and dinner and I feel like it’s a “go to” kind of food. For example if you’re looking to spice up your burger, put bacon in it, if you want to give your breakfast something more to it, put bacon in it. It’s also not necessarily the hardest thing to make so people who aren’t chef’s in the kitchen but what to make an impression can just add bacon to the menu and it would be a crowd pleaser.

  8. I loved your post; I found it very entertaining. I don’t think bacon will ever face a decline, the only reason we could potentially see a decline in bacon is if there was a food scare or recall. After reading your post I couldn’t stop thinking how many things bacon is incorporated in. Bacon has really launched off, you can find bacon in the most random places from cupcakes to lip-gloss. I can’t see bacon facing a decline any time soon or ever.

  9. What an interesting post! I don’t think that bacon will decline anytime soon, because it is the type of meat that is very versatile. Over the past couple of years, I did not notice that their was a “recall or a food scare” of bacon, instead I saw it being included in all different types of food. From microwaveable bacon, that ready in a minute, to bacon in smoothies and on sandwiches–the trend is increasing!

  10. Alexis, awesome post and even more awesome use of a Ron Swanson gif. Although I do not eat bacon myself, I can see that there is no end in sight for bacon even if prices continue to increase. It is a food item almost synonymous with America. It was interesting to read about the ups and downs of the pork industry and to learn that there is a Pork Marketing Board. I especially liked how you related a topic like this into the life cycle of a product and incorporated a creative title. I enjoyed reading this!

  11. The price of bacon has almost doubled in the past years and the sales have increased. Bacon is a subsidized good. There is plenty of healthier products that can subsidize bacon such as turkey, chicken. But what makes bacon sales increase is the great taste of bacon. I personally love bacon. I would choose bacon over turkey any time, even though turkey is healthier. On the other side like the previous comments said, bacon is used in so many different ways: on pizza, doughnuts, cupcakes, ice-creams and more. This variety of usage has increased bacon sales. I do not think that bacon sales will decrease in the future. Bacon has a strong position in the market.

  12. I’ll take bacon with a side of bacon. I don’t think the price of bacon will ever be so high that people will stop buying it, but with more and more stories of pig farmers treating these animals inhumanely, it may cause a bit of a decline in the future, but the demand will always be there. Unfortunately though, there may not be enough people who care about how the bacon arrived on their plate; just that it has.

  13. Hi. Alex. This is absolutely an interesting topic–bacon. As what we learned in class, there are introduction, growth, maturity, and decline four phases. Also i see introduction, growth, maturity these three phrase about bacon in your article. In my opinion, there must be one day that the decline of bacon comes. However, no one can predict when is it. I feel like it may because of the unhealthy of it. If at the future, all human care about their health and only eat the healthy food, then it will be the decline day of the bacon. Less and less people will eat bacon, or even no one will eat bacon anymore.

  14. You bring out an interesting and very subjective topic. I don’t think the consumption of bacon will decrease any time soon until the culture thinking will shift into more of healthy and sustainable society. However, that is not the case, and I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. Regardless of the price increase, popularity of this product will climb. “Addiction” to bacon can be compared to smoking cigarettes at least in America. Even though prices of cigarettes have increased significantly, most people have adapted and still continue to purchase that product. In the end almost everyone will stick with bacon on the side of their breakfast plate.

  15. Like many of these bacon lovers, the future decrease in bacon consumption doesn’t seem like something to be worried about anytime soon. With its place in the market of having such a unique taste aside from other meats, the increase in prices won’t be stopping me from purchasing my share. Its ability to be used in a diversity of recipes, always finds its way into my meals. Not only is the savory side of my palate is satisfied with the nonstop bacon consumption, but bakers have found their way in incorporating the salty taste into sweets. Bacon maple doughnuts and cupcakes are highly popular in these days as a new creation that brings such a unique yet successful twist to many businesses.

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