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August 05, 2014 10:10 PM

Bacon Prices Soar

Sioux Falls, SD

From bacon with breakfast to bacon on burgers, crumbled in salads and even chocolate-covered bacon, it's become an American staple.  But the price of bacon has jumped dramatically to an all-time high of $6.11 per pound.

The Original Pancake House is in the middle of its typical morning rush and just about every breakfast has a side of bacon.

"I crave it.  I think everyone craves bacon. I don't necessarily like it in chocolate, but I love bacon," Janine Jones said.

"And everybody loves bacon, so there's obviously a demand for it--who wouldn't have bacon three times a day?" Bob Valentine said.

But that's going to cost you a pretty penny.  The price of bacon has jumped more than 40 percent in two years.

Just last month, The Original Pancake House had to stop serving its thicker cut specialty bacon for a couple of weeks because there was a shortage of it.  It's also raised the price of a side of bacon by a dollar. 

"It's like gas; you kind of need bacon so you pay what you need to pay for it," Jones said.

You can blame most of it on a virus that's been killing pigs for the last year.  An estimated 9 million pigs have died taking 180 million pounds of bacon off the market.

"We're seeing a shortage in young weaned pigs, so what that does is drive the market higher.  So the demand doesn't slow down, but the pig supply has decreased," Sylvia Wolters of Pipestone Vet Services said. 

The virus is slowing and researchers are working on an effective vaccine, but the price of feed is also high so there's no real sign of bacon prices coming down anytime soon.

Those high prices haven't slowed down bacon lovers.  Sales rose 11 percent to $4.2 billion in the last year.

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