I was a vegetarian for the first two years after my then-10-year-old daughter renounced meat. I figured that it would be easier to get her to adjust her diet if she felt that at least one other family member was on her “meatless” side. My mother and older sister never accepted my vegetarian diet. At one family party they were extolling the virtues of the roast pork that was on the table and said, in chorus (but not harmony) ”but you love pork!!” when I reminded them that I didn’t eat meat.
And I do love pork. In fact, my first meal after deciding that a vegetarian diet was not for me was a slab of ribs from Famous Dave’s and they were GREAT!
Chops, ribs, tenderloin, shoulder…all great. “Schäufele” is an absolutely delicious pork shoulder dish in Germany that is causing me to salivate right now…now I’m thinking of dumplings and schnapps…ahhhhhhh! There’s a place at the Munich airport in the lower level retail area outside security that does this dish beautifully. There’s also a place that is (if my memory serves me well) in the Nuernberg city wall that does a special job of it. If you’re in Shanghai, go to the Restaurant Paulaner in Xintiandi to get a fix. I have.
Then there is the beauty of bacon. And that beauty is appreciated by many, including Homer Simpson.
And that appreciation has pretty much lifted servings of pork products at a time when the industry and protein menu items have been slipping.
Because bacon means breakfast (pretty much). CREST®, NPD’s foodservice market research, tells us that breakfast is the only daypart to post growth in the US foodservice business since 2007. The two go hand-in-hand. Of all the items that we track that can readily be identified as bacon/pork carrying items, the two items that have outpaced the overall pork category are breakfast sandwiches and breakfast wraps. Breakfast on-the-go…can’t beat it. And it’s great that there’s a product, like bacon, to help it along.
Harry Balzer, NPD’s diligent and insightful food industry analyst, observed in the ’80′s that if you wanted your product category to grow you needed to find a way to “put it on pizza!!”. Lots of stuff found its way onto pizza in the ’80′s. These days, if you want your product category to be part of a growing market, get it on the breakfast menu. You’re just not gonna nudge bacon out of the way.