Bacon prices going up

Dave Stewart
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You're going to need to bring home more bacon to, well, bring home bacon.

Islanders are going to need to bring home more bacon to, well, bring home the bacon.

Norman Sahely said he is shocked at how much brand-name bacon is costing him.

Sahely been running the Brighton Clover Farm in Charlottetown for almost 40 years and he’s never seen bacon cost so much.

A pound of Maple Leaf bacon at Brighton’s Clover Farm costs $5.95.

“That’s the highest I have ever sold bacon for,’’ Sahely said. “I have never sold Maple Leaf bacon for more than $4.95.’’

Time Magazine published a story on Wednesday that indicates some are forecasting that the B in BLT could soar in the coming months, coinciding with the peak tomato harvesting season.

People have grown accustomed to higher gas prices in the summer. Now, it appears that the cost of food is starting to follow suit.

Cooper’s Red and White in Eldon had its bacon on sale Wednesday for $4.95. Normal full price is $5.95.

The big stores, such as Sobey’s, are still able to charge under $5.

Consumers like Robert Paterson of Stratford are sympathetic to the plight of producers and buy local at markets like the one on Riverside Drive.

“The price of (feed) is going through the roof,’’ Paterson said. “All factory food is getting more expensive.’’

Tim Seeber, executive director of the P.E.I. Hog Commodity Marketing Board, said the market is up.

“Processors are paying more for the hogs so it’s bound to reflect in the cuts that are coming into retail,’’ Seeber said. “It does not mean hog producers are making money because the feed costs have gone up as well and faster.’’

Not to mention the fact that producers have to ship their hogs outside the Maritimes to for processing.

Seeber said demand for bacon does increase at this time of year.

“Tomato season kind of leads to an increase in (pork) belly prices and the bacon prices. That’s usually just a seasonal thing though. Whether you see that price taper off coming into the fall, I just don’t know.’’

Pork bellies are used to make bacon. Last August, those bellies cost 53 per cent more than they did a year prior, according to the Wall Street Journal. Retail prices rose 16 per cent within a few months.

There are also some reports that pork bellies could hit $2 a pound this summer, much higher than the $1.40 to $1.60 rates of last summer and fall.

Cindy MacDonald, with Smitty’s Restaurant in Charlottetown, said there are no plans to jack up prices on the menu when it comes to choices that include bacon.

“You don’t want to scare your customers off,’’ MacDonald said. “It’s hard to get customers and get them to stick. It doesn’t take much to peeve them off and send them to somebody else.’’

She added, however, that restaurants don’t usually hit the consumer with an increase until they have no other choice.

“Coffee prices (for example) kept going up and up and up and we did make one increase this year. As long as you’re making your cost (back).’’

Sahely said he’s making 22 cents back on a pound of bacon.

Lori Kays, with Beanz Espresso Bar, said 22 cents isn’t enough.

“He’s got to make something on it because he’s got to pay his bills,’’ Kays said, adding that her food supplier hasn’t even hinted at a price increase for her business.

Organizations: Time Magazine, P.E.I. Hog Commodity Marketing Board, Wall Street Journal

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Maple Leaf, Eldon Riverside Drive

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Recent comments

  • NOPUN
    July 07, 2011 - 16:35

    Maybe this will help all the fatties in Kings County loose some weight!!

  • ELSEWHERE
    July 07, 2011 - 11:51

    I will buy bacon when we go across the bridge. Always seems to be a variety of excuses why things are more expensive on PEI. Bacon will be the same as other food items. Cheaper on the mainland. NB doesn't charge 2.00 a lb for their new potatoes like in PEI and i am sure the same goes for bacon. Pop, liquor, beer, clothing, utilities are all cheaper across the bridge,

  • Gerry
    July 07, 2011 - 06:53

    Bacon (which is fat only) is similar to a cheese slice, absolutely no food value, but tastes good. Definitely not considered a "should have" staple, therefore, not a requirement in terms of maintaining a healthy diet.

  • Betty
    July 07, 2011 - 03:08

    If you want to try proper bacon go to europe. The bacon in north america is terrible - fat with a little meat attached.

  • mcccccc
    July 06, 2011 - 19:35

    If you want fantastic bacon go to the Riverview Country Market on riverside drive. It's local meat too!

    • ME
      July 08, 2011 - 08:42

      +1 MCCCCCC for supporting the LOCAL food industry! We Islanders are blessed with an abundance of quality produce. Support our farmers, BUY LOCAL.

  • speedy
    July 06, 2011 - 18:02

    Thank God my wife and I who are on a fixed income had a choice, or should that be no choice, anyway we just gave up buying bacon.

  • charlie brown
    July 06, 2011 - 17:13

    This is called conditioning, raise it a lot, slide it back some then raise it again and lower it a little again . it's a short term complaint to live with and then you have you product priced where you want it. worked with gas, look at the price per barrel and price per litre. no more complaints and people pay more than ever. it's not like our elected fools will protect the consumer from predatory pricing or opportunists.