There’s no denying this country’s enduring love affair with bacon. It’s an ingredient at home in virtually every daypart and meal component from breakfast sides and Bloody Marys to cheeseburger enhancements, pizza toppers and deviled egg upgrades.
In fact, bacon menu mentions are up 13% over the last five years, according to Technomic. And some 67% of consumers say they’d jump at the chance to order bacon on their burger, according to Technomic’s recent Burger Consumer Trend Report.
Bacon is equally at home at FSRs and quick-service restaurants. Here are just a few bacon-focused menu items introduced recently:
- Strawberry Bacon Salad at Bob Evans
- Cheesy Bacon Potato Flip at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
- Bacon Lovers Chili Cheese Coneys at SONIC Drive-In
- Limited-time Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut
- Limited-time Baconator Fries at Wendy’s
Not only is bacon showing up all over menus, it’s appearing with some unexpected ingredients, such as:
- Limited-time Maple Bacon Gelato from Stop & Shop’s private label
- Limited-time Chocolate-Covered Bacon at Cozymel’s Coastal Mex
- Fig & Bacon Flatbread at Seasons 52
- Limited-time Wagyu Doughnut Burger, topped with bacon, at Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar
And, of course, bacon is a star player in the fast-growing breakfast segment, taking top billing in new items like Jack in the Box’s Breakfast Bacon Chipotle Melt and the Bacon Lover’s Omelet at Bob Evans. Bacon appears in all of the items on Jack in the Box’s new daypart-bending Brunchfast menu.
“Why do people want to eat bacon? Because it tastes awesome,” says Bryon Coleman, vice president of Food Service and International for Jones Dairy Farm. “And it makes everything else taste great, too.”
But there’s a way to drive even more salty-smoky indulgent flavor into bacon, Coleman says. And Jones Dairy Farm, a 127-year-old, Fort Atkinson, Wisc.-based, family-owned company has figured it out.
All Jones Dairy Farm bacon is naturally smoked before being dry aged. Before any of that happens, though, Jones only selects fresh—never frozen—bellies, typically from Upper Midwest hogs.
The meat is cured in an old family recipe of spices and flavorings, and then it’s naturally smoked using only real hickory or cherry wood, no added or artificial flavors.
After the smoker, bacon produced by other companies is often cooled quickly by being sprayed with a super-cold salt solution, a process known as “brine chilling,” and then immediately packaged.
But Jones Dairy Farm air chills all of its bacon, often for weeks at a time. This dry-aging process wicks moisture out of the product, thereby concentrating the bacon’s flavor and making it even more bacon-y.
“This bacon is unique,” Coleman says. “It’s going to taste better.”
Plus, operator yields will increase with dry-aged bacon since there’s less water to cook out of the finished product. Jones Dairy Farm’s bacon even boasts a lower sodium content than many of its competitors.
“We don’t need salt to drive flavor,” Coleman says. “We just use our cure recipe.”
And to top it all off, Jones Dairy Farm products are produced in a certified gluten-free facility, making all of their products safe for those with food allergies and sensitivities.
This post is sponsored by Jones Dairy Farm