Bacon is one of the favorites for most meat-eating consumers across the US, but the average cost of bacon can fluctuate wildly depending on where you buy it from, the style of bacon, and if there has been any specialty preparation to the bacon.
Most people want bacon but need to keep the purchase within a budget so that they can buy other essential items for their weekly or monthly food budgets. Finding the average cost of bacon and looking for ways to make it cheaper is essential to enjoying bacon frugally.
If you’re curious about the average cost of bacon and where to get the cheapest bacon for your needs, then follow along as I provide all the information you need.
How Much Does Bacon Cost Per Pound?
The average cost of bacon across the US is about $7.22 per pound for basic sliced bacon from a grocery store. The prices have drastically increased from January 2021 when they were $5.83 and had been reasonably stable since at least January 2012.
It’s really going to depend on which store and which style of bacon you’re looking to buy. You need to verify the amount of packaged bacon you will get, which could be anywhere from 2.25 oz to 16 oz.
Bacon Price Comparisons
For the exact same products with the same weight, you can see that the prices vary significantly between stores without even factoring in specialty or fresh uncooked bacon options, each of these prepackaged items will have a recommended retail price that obviously isn’t be followed by many grocery stores.
Once you start factoring in online purchased or third-party delivery services, the prices can skyrocket to being unaffordable. If you’re able to visit a store in person, you will get much better prices.
It’s also interesting that Safeway consistently has higher prices across many of their products, even items like bananas.
|Type Of Bacon||Store||Cost per 2.25 ounces|
|Oscar Mayer Original Fully Cooked Bacon||Walmart||$4.48|
|Oscar Mayer Original Fully Cooked Bacon||Kroger||$5.99|
|Oscar Mayer Original Fully Cooked Bacon||Safeway||$7.49|
|Oscar Mayer Original Fully Cooked Bacon||Wegmans||$6.99|
Where to Get The Cheapest Bacon
Your cheapest options for bacon may depend on how much you want to buy. It’s possible to get cheaper bacon in bulk from places like Costco, but if you can’t use it all, then that increases your price.
For big brands and looking for economical options, Walmart is going to be the cheapest option for a big range of reasonable bacon simply due to their buying power on products.
You can also check into local butches to see the price of fresh-cut bacon is, but often local mom and pop butchers will be more expensive because they’re offering a premium cut of bacon.
World Bacon Price Comparison
Amongst various countries, the USA still ranks high for the most expensive bacon per lb. Australia ranks closely behind, while countries like New Zealand shave more than $2 per lb off regular bacon.
|Country||Price Per LB|
Price Increase Of Bacon By Year
The price increase of bacon year to year has been reasonably stable, with an overall slight increase in average price per pound. However, starting in January 2022, the average price for bacon skyrocketed, similar to many other basic food items you buy like bananas.
It’s very concerning that most products are increasing in price significantly over COVID, and Jan 2022 was a major month to see prices jump hugely across all products and all stores, so now more than ever, it’s important to find the best price for your items.
|Year||Average Price Per LB|
It will be crucial to see the cost of bacon over the next year to see whether 2023 drops the prices back down, or manufacturers and stores keep the prices high as consumers start to get used to the prices.
Pig farmers are likely to see similar prices for fewer products now, so they may be hesitant to drop those prices, but grocery stores will certainly be looking to sell as much as possible.
What Increases The Cost Of Bacon?
The biggest factor in bacon cost is the type of bacon you get and which company is producing it. Packaged bacon and fresh-cut bacon (pork belly) range from store brands that are much cheaper up to premium brands that offer better quality meat and different flavorings and cuts.
Looking at the table below, you can see store brand sliced bacon is almost half the price of branded bacon that has been smoked and flavored.
|Brand||Price Per LB|
|Store Brand Sliced Original Bacon||$4.32|
|Wright Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon||$6.70|
|Farmer John Sliced Original Bacon||$6.48|
|Oscar Mayer Hardwood Smoked Bacon||$7.00|
|Sunnyvale Applewood Smoked Bacon||$8.72|
|Hormel Black Label Bacon||$7.48|
You also need to factor in which store you’re buying from, as larger brands like Walmart will offer much cheaper prices for the same product, while even brands like Safeway jack their prices to obscene levels, simply because most Safeway consumers are not price matching products.
|Brand||Walmart Price Per LB||Safeway Price Per LB|
|Store Brand Sliced Original Bacon||$4.32||$7.99|
|Farmer John Thick Cut Bacon||$6.48||$9.49|
|Oscar Mayer Hardwood Smoked Bacon||$7.00||$12.99|
|Hormel Black Label Bacon||$7.48||$9.28|
The other factor is how much you’re buying, you may purchase bacon weekly or monthly, but depending on your use, bigger packages can offer cheaper per slice bacon in some cases, but it’s possible that the bacon will go bad before you can consume it all.
|Store Brand Bacon (16 oz)||$4.36||$7.99||N/A|
|Store Brand Bacon (24 oz)||$6.53||$13.99||N/A|
|Store Brand Bacon (48 oz)||N/A||$19.99||N/A|
|Store Brand Bacon (64 oz)||N/A||N/A||$22.99|
On average you get 16-20 slices per LB of bacon for regular slices, so Costco can give you 1 slice of bacon for $0.36, but Walmart can still offer $0.27 per slice, but in smaller packages, which could actually be better and allow you to keep bacon fresher or buy less at a time.
How much you want to fit into your diet is important; keeping bacon as a treat is a much cheaper option than consuming it every morning.
Why Is Bacon So Expensive?
Bacon had a reasonably stable price going up to the end of 2021, but starting in 2022, the prices have massively increased due to supply chain limitations. Most foods have seen logistical issues during COVID that have increased the prices and caused the same demand for less bacon now that everything is opening.
Initially, during the pandemic, restaurants were buying fewer pork products, including bacon, which lowered prices and demand, and many pig farms shut down due to outbreaks or simply keeping employees safe.
Pig farms also needed to cut back on costs which required them to prematurely get rid of their pigs, and now that demand has increased, there simply isn’t a supply to match the world opening again.
With pigs taking around six months to grow to an appropriate size, we could see bacon costs coming down and supply increases, but many pig farms may still be cautious of overcommitting and having their farms shut down again.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.