From being a food service sandwich ingredient, cooked bacon has developed very strongly as a retail sector in its own right over the last 12 months. The retail quantities remain small, but last year saw the rival launches of Streakers by Tulip International and Strippers by Roach Foods. There are two distinct strands to what is offered: The first has been crispy cooked out streaks for a crunchy snack, topping or salad ingredient. The second is a much more familiar and thicker back rasher, cooked less fiercely for reheating as a sandwich ingredient or light meal centre. This year Tulip is developing the range with Rahsers, back rashers complementing a relaunched Streakers. Roach is launching cooked both cooked back and streaky rashers, under the Crisp'n'Quick and the Lean'n'Quick brands. Its existing cooked streaky line for Tesco, Strippers is growing at between 25-30%. "Crisp'n'Quick and the Lean'n'Quick are snack products, with a wide range of applications. Sandwiches and breakfast are only the beginning of what you can do with them," says Roach md Mark Forbes. Both Tesco and Sainsbury merchandise cooked bacon away from the traditional bacon fixture ­ Tesco with the sliced meats and Sainsbury on the deli serveover counter. Forbes says: "We want get our lines into the bacon fixture, where they will earn incremental sales for the rest of the fixture," he says. Another microwaveable cooked bacon product is being launched by Wall's as part of its Instants range. Kerry marketing manager Catherine Hayward is quick to point out the versatility of the Wall's Instants 110g packs of microwaveable bacon. "It can be a meal module or a meal centre. So it could from a breakfast meal centre or an ingredient for an evening meal." In the US 90% of retail bacon is sold pre-cooked. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}