A key way to innovate in bacon is through packaging and added convenience.
Ben Wheeley, bacon buyer with Sainsbury, says the last real NPD launch in bacon was Danepak’s Rapid Rashers. “That addressed some of the shortfalls in the market, aiming at the younger consumers, but I still think we’ve a long way to go.”
One way he suggests is improved packaging. “We need to play about with the rasher counts and pack sizes. Eight rashers are probably too much.”
His views are echoed by Grampian’s Phil Metcalf who says packaging design is a key area. “We’ve seen a huge rise in the increase of single-person households. How fit is our current packaging for that market? How can we make it easier?”could provide a blueprint. “Ten years ago, sausage was a fully saturated market and people were saying where now?
“There’s an opportunity for bacon here. We’re already seeing some flavours and they’re great.”
However, Roach MD Mark Forbes says: “If you’re increasing the complexity of flavours of bacon you are changing the product. Some of the flavours on the sausage front were superb, but if we do that with bacon we’ll lose the real flavour. You can’t muck around too much.”
Tulip’s general manager, Keith Hardman, says experiments with chardonnay and cider-flavoured bacon didn’t work. Bacon should focus more on what has happened with the premiumisation in orange juice. “That’s not just about taste, as the taste of orange juice does not vary as wildly as the different flavours in sausages. In that sense, it’s closer to bacon.”