Bacon suppliers are keen to see their product considered as an option beyond the breakfast and bacon sarnie occasion.
The Danish Bacon and Meat Council’s John Howard says: “The challenge for the bacon industry is to expand the product’s usage at non-breakfast occasions while still maintaining its popularity for leisurely weekend breakfasts.”
Sainsbury’s inclusion of bacon in its Try Something New Today campaign has delighted suppliers, who feel their product’s potential is barely tapped into.
The Dutch Meat Board’s Robert Smith says: “The Sainsbury recipe for cabbage with bacon is great. You’re not asking consumers to take a massive leap of faith; you’re asking them to take a little step.”
For Grampian Country Food Group’s Nigel Glendinning, it is a dream that, in future years, no bolognese will be made without bacon. “We’ve not exploited bacon as an ingredient. I would love to see consumers frying bacon with their onions when they start to make a meal.”
Glendinning thinks easy-to-use formats or being sold with other ingredients offers great potential. Lardons, a staple ingredient in France but a niche product in the UK, also provide inspiration, but he adds: “There’s no reason why a bacon ingredient product has to be as fatty as lardons.”
TMI Foods MD David Abbott thinks precooked bacon could make an impact as an ingredient. “There are huge opportunities with cooked bacon products that are not being exploited. Retailers need to think more about the end-use customers could put these products to, for example diced bacon for salads, pizzas and pasta dishes.”