Pork industry says not to worry about a bacon shortage

Markets Associated Press

  • FILE - This June, 28, 2012, file photo shows hogs at a farm in Buckhart, Ill. An insatiable demand for bacon depleted frozen pork supplies to a record low level for December driving prices slightly higher. The pork industry hopes to boost hog production enough before the craving for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches reach a peak this summer, so bacon lovers may see higher prices but not a panic situation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

    FILE - This June, 28, 2012, file photo shows hogs at a farm in Buckhart, Ill. An insatiable demand for bacon depleted frozen pork supplies to a record low level for December driving prices slightly higher. The pork industry hopes to boost hog ... production enough before the craving for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches reach a peak this summer, so bacon lovers may see higher prices but not a panic situation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This June, 28, 2012, file photo shows hogs at a farm in Buckhart, Ill. An insatiable demand for bacon depleted frozen pork supplies to a record low level for December driving prices slightly higher. The pork industry hopes to boost hog production enough before the craving for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches reach a peak this summer, so bacon lovers may see higher prices but not a panic situation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

    FILE - This June, 28, 2012, file photo shows hogs at a farm in Buckhart, Ill. An insatiable demand for bacon depleted frozen pork supplies to a record low level for December driving prices slightly higher. The pork industry hopes to boost hog ... production enough before the craving for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches reach a peak this summer, so bacon lovers may see higher prices but not a panic situation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) (The Associated Press)

Pork industry experts say U.S. consumers shouldn't worry about a bacon shortage.

Continue Reading Below

The reassurance comes amid news that demand for bacon depleted frozen pork belly supplies in the U.S. to a record low for December. Pork bellies are the cut of the hog from which bacon is derived.

But the industry is confident it can boost hog production enough to avoid any serious shortages.

Steve Meyer is a pork industry economist for Express Markets Inc., which tracks industry trends for retailers and foodservice companies.

He expects pork production to increase about 3 percent this year. So if prices do climb, they should stabilize once the industry catches up.

Bottom line: A pound of bacon may cost a little more as winter wears on, but prices should stabilize by summer.