Research Shows That People Really Love Bacon

Bacon: it makes the recession taste better. That’s our theory, anyway, after reading an article on Burgerbusiness.com with original research showing that menu items containing bacon at all restaurants are up 26.5% since 2005.

The biggest increase in bacon-laden menu items has come at full-service restaurants, not fast-food outlets.

Certainly burgers have contributed to the bacon tsunami. Mintel finds that the number of bacon-topped burgers at all 580 restaurants in its Menu Insights database soared from 424 in 2005 to 576 in 2009, a 35.8% increase. At QSRs, the increase has been a Whoppering 32.9%, although that’s a bit less than for all restaurants.

If the biggest increase is not at QSRs, where is the bacon bulge coming from? Look at some recent menu revisions by full-service chains and the numbers are understandable. Yes, the Sassy Pepper Jack Burger added by the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery chain has bacon, but so too do its new Chicken & Spinach and Honey Mustard Chicken Crunch salads as well as its Smoked Bacon & Ham Omelette. O’Charley’s Prime Rib Pasta would seem to have proteins covered, but there’s bacon added. Applebee’s new BBQ Chicken Salad and Ruby Tuesday’s Club House Salad have bacon, as do Chili’s new Classic Chicken Tacos Texas Cheese Fries. Bacon’s everywhere.

Is there such a thing as too much bacon…or maybe just too much sodium?

Data Confirm Sharp Increase in Bacon on Burgers and More [Burger Business]

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  1. AllanG54 says:

    All I can say is…thank G-d for Lipitor.

  2. Thanks.to.John says:

    You know you’ve really hit the peak of existence when the smell of bacon does for you the same as a Chanel No. 5 or a CK One.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Anyone else feel like the restaurants created this bacon-madness?

    I noticed that in the last year, restaurants have been adding bacon to just about everything. NEarly every burger on a menu has bacon, as well as several other menu items. Seriously, take a look at the Chili’s full menu: half of the items include their “applewood smoked bacon.”
    I think the statistics are artificially high because we’re not given a choice whether our item has bacon on it or not.

    When I order a burger, it’s typically not to get bacon. But if bacon happens to be on the burger I want, I have no objection. I like bacon, no doubt. But I’m not going out and trying to have it added to everything I eat. If I eat bacon on purpose, I try to get turkey bacon which is wildly healthier for you.

    The poitn of the rant is I don’t think bacon is so popular because consumers want it so much, I think it’s “popular” because restaurants have just kept adding it to everything on the menu.

    • Nogard13 says:

      Turkey bacon is to bacon what fat-free mayonnaise is to mayo. Yes, it might do in a pinch, but you cannot replace the flavor of the real thing.

      Here’s an experiment: next time you make a burger (or a sammich with bacon), put real bacon on one half and turkey bacon on the other. I dare you to tell me that the half with turkey bacon is at least as satisfying as the real bacon half. The same experiment can be done with mayo and “lite” mayo.

      • TheDoctor says:

        I have to agree with you on the lite-mayo side of things. That “stuff” is a sin against god, where as actual Mayo is like mana from the gods. As for the bacon vs turkey bacon, I must draw the line, not because its a good point, but because I love turkey. Most meat dishes I enjoy seem better to me with turkey substituted or added through bacon or sausage. While I love the pork varieties, and I do, turkey is some good good poultry.

      • samurailynn says:

        Turkey bacon is awesome. It has to be cooked for a little longer than regular bacon, but if you cook it right it is way better than the original. At least the brand that I have bought is. My husband and I both prefer to any brand of real bacon that I’ve bought.

        • ludwigk says:

          Ur doin’ it wrong.

          What you’re really saying is that you either don’t like bacon, or don’t know how to make it to your liking. Turkey bacon is ok, although its really just a smoke flavored lunch meat that people sometimes cook till crunchy. It is nothing like bacon.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      .// Chili’s full menu: half of the items include their “applewood smoked bacon.” //
      They really should just make bacon a side dish, rather than add it to everything. Half the time people order something with bacon because they know they’ll be jealous of their friends’ dishes otherwise.

    • thisistobehelpful says:

      Eh. I don’t usually end up getting anything with bacon when I’m out. I find that they use fake bacon bits, microwaved bacon or reheated bacon and don’t bother unless it’s a diner and it’s really early in the morning (4-5am) and they’re still making ingredients fresh for breakfast. Bacon gets hard when not eaten soon enough after being cooked much like toast. Bacon is exceptionally tasty and really bad for you. That’s why it’s so great.

      I haven’t seen or heard of many burgers that have bacon on a burger without it being marketed like that. Bacon is the centerpiece of the burger the burger doesn’t usually just happen to have it on it. I don’t see bacon marketed as a new fangled craze often unless it’s at like Burger King. Where do you see restaurants hyping up bacon?

      • thisistobehelpful says:

        Oh I guess at Chili’s. I never eat there and when I do I haven’t noticed bacon.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          I’ve seen this magical “applewood smoked bacon” in other restaurants, and the “freshly made” items sold in grocery store that

    • KyleOrton says:

      Exactly. Bacon became foodie cool and now restaurants trip over themselves to offer it.

    • Parapraxis says:

      adding bacon is actually a very easy way to make a profit. By charging 59-99 cents more for adding a 10-25 cent’s worth of bacon, the remainder is pure profit.

      And in this harsh economic time, people are more likely to splurge on adding bacon instead of buying a $3.00 drink in a sit down restaurant.

  4. Skipweasel says:

    Fat and salt – what’s not to love?

  5. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Other results: Water is wet, kittehs are cute, GitEmSteveDave loves labcoats, and kids like sugar.

  6. DWMILLER says:

    Vincent from Pulp Fiction:”Bacon is goood!”

  7. DAK says:

    If you don’t love bacon, you’re a godless heathen.

  8. Hank Scorpio says:

    I’m pretty sure we have Jim Gaffigan to thank for the recent rise in popularity of bacon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaK9bjLy3v4

  9. wordsmithy says:

    Kate Moss said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. To which the world replied, “BACON.”

    all credit to Saturday Night Live and Seth Meyers.

  10. DeltaTee says:

    > Is there such a thing as too much bacon…

    Uh, no.

  11. lmbrownmail says:

    They don’t call bacon “meat candy” for no reason!

  12. nodaybuttoday says:

    Is that a burger with bacon AND egg on top of it?

    • barb95 says:

      and Tater tots. Bliss.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Take the burger off and have the egg and bacon sammish and I would eat that too.

        If you put a fried egg on a bagel and then put bacon and cheese on it it’s fracking awesome.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I love an egg on top of my burger. It’s pure joy. My favorite to date is the 5 Napkin Burger at Good Stuff Eatery. Sooo good!

    • Hank Scorpio says:

      We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg. We call it the Good Morning Burger.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Yes. The picture was clearly taken in New Zealand. Where even McDonald’s has a burger topped with a fried egg.

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Bacon is comfort food, and it’s delicious and crispy. I can see why people would order it because it is pretty hard for a lot of people to cook bacon to be perfectly crisp, yet still a little chewy, but not beef jerky like. Most people probably char it into little shards of shrapnel and figure it’s just too hard, and it’s better to let the “experts” do it.

    • lucky929 says:

      Bacon is really hard to cook. My grandmother used to burn it beyond recognition, and a lot of people slightly undercook it for my taste. Diner bacon wins every single time.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Most people like their bacon slightly differently from each other, but I just recently figured out how to cook it exactly the way I like it: slightly chewy but definitely brittle and not overly wavy: the microwave. Bonus because I don’t have to deal with an oil slick on my kitchen floor.

      I put a plate, paper towel, some bacon strips, another paper towel, and another plate all in a sandwich. Micro on high for exactly 3 minutes on my microwave (YMMV) and it’s perfect for me. I feel slightly guilty for letting the golden bacon grease go to waste in the paper towels but being able to make perfect bacon with scientific accuracy makes me happy.

      Also, no more “ooh, my eggs are done but THE BACON ISN’T! *suicide*” drama.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Ahh, this is why you never cook them together in the same pan..that and contamination reasons. I cook the eggs first, and then I transfer them to a really hot plate so they keep warm. And then I cook the bacon.

        We don’t eat much bacon, so whenever I do make bacon, I keep the fat and put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge so I can use it for other things.

        • myrna_minkoff says:

          Contamination? If you’re cooking at high enough heat to kill germs, where is the risk of “contamination?”

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            It’s when it’s raw that it leaves bacteria behind on surfaces that don’t get hot enough to cook away the bacteria. Like your spatula or the side of the pan. And I prefer eggs over easy or over medium, so the cooktimes and temperatures vary so much anyway that I don’t cook them in the same pan at the same time. It would be fine to cook eggs in the pan, remove them, then cook bacon. But not the other way around.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      Bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Perfect every time. And if you cook it on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet, you don’t even have to strain the grease off.

  14. Segador says:

    “Research Shows That People Really Love Bacon”

    In other news, people also tend to enjoy large amounts of money, and water is wet.

  15. JulesNoctambule says:

    Count me out — I prefer cheese to bacon as a topping every single time.

  16. Amaras says:

    Mmmmmm Bacon

  17. thesadtomato says:

    I make coffee ice cream with candied bacon in it. Yum.

  18. madanthony says:

    I suspect part of it is that bacon helps hide the taste of bland or unappealing food.

  19. xredgambit says:

    Mmmm Bacon…. Whats this article about again? I need to go get some bacon before I can concentrate.

    Also Someone roll the clip of homer cooking bacon for the grease.

  20. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I think this is more because EVERYTHING has bacon in it now…

  21. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    There definitely is such thing as TOO MUCH BACON. Just go to an all you can eat buffet that stocks bacon, and go nuts. My brother and dad discovered this a while back, they spent the afternoon either sitting on the couch moaning, or sitting on the toilet…

  22. BuddhaLite says:

    This is why vegetarian bacon is made from soy and hate.

  23. daddy_froglegs says:

    If I were dropped into an Olympic swimming pool sized pit full of bacon, wearing a life jacket made out of bacon, and had a team of firefighters hosing me down with bacon, no….. there is no such thing as too much bacon. It’s just not possible.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      All you have to do is eat your way out of the bacon pool. And firefighters hosing you down with bacon? Ow.

  24. MyLifeROI says:

    I find it hilarious that some of the same commenters who said HFCS is disgusting and a detriment to society are now commenting in this article about how awesome bacon is.

    And we’re obese because of HFCS? Heh.

    • Treefingers says:

      Yeah thats because when you eat a lot of bacon you know (see: taste, and feel) what youre doing to your body. When you drink HFCS you just consume it and HFCS poorly indicates when youve had too much sugar… substitute.

  25. echovictorecho says:

    There’s even a Bacon of the Month club.

    http://www.gratefulpalate.com/index.php?p=MultiOption_31&parent=Page_47

    Chris Onstad from Achewood subscribed to it for a while, with sexy results.

  26. flugennock says:

    That may be, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for every trendy restaurant in town to use bacon in dishes that should never, ever have bacon in them. I think they’re just doing it for the irony value. I’m old enough to remember when bacon was a nice, non-trendy, wholesome, middle-class American breakfast food. Those goddamn’ yuppie foodies have totally ruined it for the rest of us.

    And here I was just recovering from the haute cuisine macaroni’n’cheese fad.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Salsa on eggs is very popular, and some people don’t think salsa belongs on anything except tacos and tortilla chips. Hot sauce is used on a ton of things, but some people think it’s only acceptable in certain dishes.

      I say pshaw. If you like swiss chard in your macaroni and cheese, go right ahead!

      • Sunflower1970 says:

        Salsa on everything!

        (lol no not everything…but it’s excellent on breakfast tacos filled with egg, cheese and….BACON!)

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        Hot sauce isn’t a simple condiment! It’s a way of life.

      • flugennock says:

        Interesting you’d mention that. For the past ten years or so, my wife and I have been spending a month every year in Puerto Vallarta, and I’ve gotten to be a total junkie for a nice fat omelet with ham, cheese, and little chopped up bits of jalapeño inside, lightly slathered with high-test salsa.

  27. sir_pantsalot says:

    I normally don’t order bacon at restaurants. They charge too much for what you get. A bacon cheeseburger usually disappoints with the two strips of bacon so thin that you can almost see through it. If it is not too thin or not too scarce then it is not cooked crispy enough.

  28. TheFinalBoomer says:

    I remember the “pig lickers” from the Mn. State fair, bacon dipped in chocolate. Unfortunately for my waistline, they were actually pretty darned tasty. I make my own with hershey’s syrup now.

  29. Sunflower1970 says:

    mmMmmmmMMMMmm Baaaconnnn. Food of the Gods. Especially when it’s very crispy. Almost melts in your mouth.

  30. echovictorecho says:

    Oh, and there’s a bar in Chicago that will serve you free paper plates heaping with bacon while you’re drinking. Brilliant.

  31. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Also, I’m thrilled there’s actually a site called “BurgerBusiness.com”

  32. H3ion says:

    When they start putting bacon in my corn flakes, then they’ve gone too far.

  33. H3ion says:

    Laura, where can I get that burger in the photo?

  34. savashley says:

    prime rib pasta? seriously? geez!!
    also, is it me or do the restaurant salads these days have as many, if not more, calories and fat than their other items?! as an anorexic-turned-health freak, i basically just DON’T eat out. If i do, i’m checking nutritional stats online beforehand!

  35. Outrun1986 says:

    You guys need to come here for a whistle pig, a hot dog wrapped in bacon and covered in melted cheese. The whistle pig is a restaurant here that recently closed but its going to open back up in the summertime. I personally have never eaten a whistle pig but maybe this bacon fad thing will give them some more business. I am one of the bacon lovers but I only eat it when its cooked in the microwave, if I was to eat it any other way I would probably get very sick.

  36. Paladin_11 says:

    In this universe (not saying it’s so for all others) there is but one absolute truth:

    There is no bad bacon. Only better bacon.

  37. stanner says:

    Here’s a million dollar idea: Combine two of the best loved items into one sellable package: Bacon and Porn! I’m not sure how to do that, but I’ll bet there’s money in it.

    Though there’s that old saw about never cooking bacon while naked. We’ll have to figure out how to work around that part.

  38. Yume Ryuu says:

    Thank you Captain Obvious.

  39. Pam says:

    It’s funny reading this article as I have almost given up eating pork, but will continue to eat bacon:-) I am a bacon hound lol I love crisp baked bacon and will eat till I feel like I am going to bust …long live bacon !!
    Pam

  40. XianZomby says:

    Bacon on a burger or as an addition does nothing for me. A BLT? Now that’s the sh*t. I just polished off two of them.

  41. larkknot says:

    Bacon is a cheap thing that restaurants consider a “value add” – meaning they can up the price of the menu item because it has bacon.

  42. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Bacon and the Internet were made for each other. If there’s one salted meat that’s benefited the most from the Internet, it’s definitely bacon.

    I, for one, welcome our new fatty pork overlords.

  43. Underscore_Lysdexia says:

    RESEARCH was made for this??

    Honest to goodness research?
    Like money was spent to find out that people really like bacon?

    They could have given the money to me and I could have told them that

  44. soj4life says:

    There is such a thing as too much bacon, look at this season of Top Chef and Chopped. If it helps to compliment the dish, cool. If it is bacon for bacon’s sake, just get a plate full at breakfast to satisfy your fix.

  45. Winteridge2 says:

    Take my home, take my job, take my car, but don’t mess with my bacon’n’eggs! Beats Chanel 5 any day.

  46. Jabberkaty says:

    We did a study on this?

    I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I’m relatively fit. I want my effin’ bacon. Will you all please just leave it alone. I know it’s fatty and salty and awesome. Jeez!