Bacon is about to get a lot more expensive.
The country’s frozen pork belly supply — the meat used to make bacon — fell to 17.8 million pounds in December 2016, down from 53.4 million pounds in December 2015. That’s the lowest the nation’s pork reserve has been since 1957, according to Department of Agriculture data.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, the president of the Ohio Pork Council, said in a statement highlighting the data. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”
The essential problem is an increase in demand, especially outside of the US, according to the Ohio Pork Council. Unfortunately, increased demand means higher prices.
The cost of pork belly increased 20% in the first three weeks of January, and the Council believes the price of bacon, which is made from belly meat, is likely to follow suit.
However, while shoppers may have to shell out a few extra dollars when buying the breakfast staple, the industry isn’t expecting to run out of bacon entirely.
“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply,” Deaton told USA Today.