The Price of Bacon the Year You Were Born

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holding tasty bacon slice with tongs over pan
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BRINGING IT HOME

It's safe to say America is obsessed with bacon. We've long enjoyed delicious strips of bacon with our eggs and on our burgers, but now we're finding increasingly creative ways to eat more bacon -- from desserts to cocktails. And while it seems like the price of bacon seems to increase with our demand, you may be surprised to learn that the cost of a pound of sliced bacon hasn't changed dramatically since 1940 when you adjust for inflation. To find out why -- and how much bacon cost the year you were born -- read on.

two women distracted from their meal during the 1940s
Photo credit: Everett Collection/shutterstock

1940

Cost of Bacon: $0.23
Inflation-Adjusted Cost (in 2018 Dollars): $4.09
Having made it through the Great Depression when goods like bacon were a luxury for many, Americans enjoyed a period of relatively low prices for the good stuff. But in the midst of World War II, the country's resources -- including meat -- were redirected toward the war effort, and those prices began to rise.

three men with hats eating at the counter of a diner
Photo credit: Everett Collection/shutterstock

1941

Cost of Bacon: $0.29
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.91

two street vendors have lunch at a makeshift table of wooden crates covered with newspaper, New York, Aug. 1946
Photo credit: Everett Historical/shutterstock

1942

Cost of Bacon: $0.34
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.19
The U.S. entry into World War II may have helped employ millions of Americans following the Depression, but that also meant that more people were able to afford bacon -- and more of it -- than before. Combined with the demands for food reserves for servicemen heading to the front lines, the price of bacon spiked.

American woman reads a government brochure on titled 'Save, Simplify, Substitute' during World War 2, Feb. 1942
Photo credit: Everett Historical/shutterstock

1943

Cost of Bacon: $0.35
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.08
To help counteract the rising prices of bacon and other goods during the war, the U.S. government instituted a complex rationing program. And while it likely helped reduce bacon prices in the years to come, it meant shoppers often had to use stamps or points to purchase things like bacon and constantly monitor changing prices. It also meant that bacon was sometimes unavailable at the local market, and led to a black market of point trading and selling for some.

bacon cooked cooking in white pan skillet on flat top stove
Photo credit: mwesselsfoto/shutterstock

1944

Cost of Bacon: $0.33
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.67
While the price of bacon steadily declined during the war, those at home were encouraged to save their bacon grease for the war effort. The fat was converted into glycerin, which was used to make certain bombs. Only about half of Americans donated to the effort, however, as cooking fats and oils were in short supply, and Americans had long utilized bacon grease in the kitchen and were reluctant to give it up.

crispy sliced ethically raised organic bacon on a wooden plate
Photo credit: farbled/shutterstock

1945

Cost of Bacon: $0.34
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.70

fried crispy bacon on paper
Photo credit: Moving Moment/shutterstock

1946

Cost of Bacon: $0.44
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.62

bacon strips or rashers being cooked in frying pan
Photo credit: Joe Gough/shutterstock

1947

Cost of Bacon: $0.64
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $7.15
The costs of goods and services often rise following a war, and bacon prices were no exception. When adjusted for inflation, bacon reached one of the highest prices in recent history, likely leading some bacon lovers to do without for a while.

bacon slice being cooked in frying pan
Photo credit: Volodymyr Krasyuk/shutterstock

1948

Cost of Bacon: $0.63
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.51

men in food line
Photo credit: Everett Collection/shutterstock

1949

Cost of Bacon: $0.55
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.75

vintage smiling woman serving pasta for lunch to her happy husband
Photo credit: Stokkete/shutterstock

1950

Cost of Bacon: $0.52
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.37

bacon strips sizzling on a frying pan
Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/shutterstock

1951

Cost of Bacon: $0.55
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.27

fried eggs with bacon on the wooden table
Photo credit: Alexander Prokopenko/shutterstock

1952

Cost of Bacon: $0.53
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.98
As Americans settled back into business as usual following the war years, the cost of bacon also steadily declined and reached lows not seen in years. Bacon and eggs once again made regular appearances on breakfast tables around the country.

retro styled housewife loads the dishes in the dishwasher
Photo credit: Kuznetsov Alexey/shutterstock

1953

Cost of Bacon: $0.65
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.06

bacon cooked cooking in white pan skillet on flat top stove
Photo credit: mwesselsfoto/shutterstock

1954

Cost of Bacon: $0.67
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.20

young woman in an apron in her kitchen taking food out of the refrigerator
Photo credit: Everett Collection/shutterstock

1955

Cost of Bacon: $0.54
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.02

delicate shrimps wrapped in bacon on potato slices with a spinach leaf
Photo credit: jabiru/shutterstock

1956

Cost of Bacon: $0.48
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.39
Despite a few spikes in the early '50s, the young Baby Boomer generation enjoyed plenty of bacon purchased at reasonable prices through the middle of the decade. It was also a time when bacon and cheese balls and items wrapped in bacon became increasingly popular at cocktail parties -- more bacon for everyone.

businessmen meeting in restaurant
Photo credit: Everett Collection/shutterstock

1957

Cost of Bacon: $0.62
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.49

Hokes Cafe diner on old Lincoln Highway, US 30, Ogallala, Nebraska
Photo credit: Joseph Sohm/shutterstock

1958

Cost of Bacon: $0.66
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.69

bacon cheeseburger
Photo credit: Brendan Lekan/shutterstock

1959

Cost of Bacon: $0.55
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.71
By the end of the 1950s, the economy was booming, and Americans enjoyed low prices on one of their favorite breakfast items. As more people started moving to the suburbs and fast food companies began to spread across the country, Americans were enjoying more bacon on the go and at home.

happy housewife shows her smoking friend a dish in the kitchen
Photo credit: CREATISTA/shutterstock

1960

Cost of Bacon: $0.54
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.54

sunny side up eggs with organic bacon, hashbrowns, and crispy toast
Photo credit: farbled/shutterstock

1961

Cost of Bacon: $0.59
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.91

cooked greasy bacon on plate
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

1962

Cost of Bacon: $0.58
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.91

Aunt Jemima's Bacon Strip Pancakes
Photo credit: Courtesy of auntjemima.com

1963

Cost of Bacon: $0.57
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.64
The cost of bacon remained low during the early 1960s, which likely accounts for the rising trend of recipes calling for bacon and big brands suggested bacon-fueled recipes like Aunt Jemima's bacon strip pancakes. This was also the year that Dale Mulder, president of A&W restaurants, is credited with inventing the bacon cheeseburger, paving the way for great things to come. Thanks, Dale.

bacon stack
Photo credit: Zandria Mazzaferro/shutterstock

1964

Cost of Bacon: $0.57
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.58

breakfast of crispy bacon, fried eggs and toast
Photo credit: Marie C Fields/shutterstock

1965

Cost of Bacon: $0.69
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.45

Julia Child - The French Chef
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

1966

Cost of Bacon: $0.82
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.30
Bacon prices steadily rose to a peak in the late 1960s before declining again. With so many people tuning into Julia Child's "The French Chef" on TV at the time, perhaps demand and prices went up as everyone tried to imitate her recipes that used bacon and plenty of butter.

retro 60s housewife smelling cooking pot
Photo credit: FCSCAFEINE/shutterstock

1967

Cost of Bacon: $0.72
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.37

hot fried bacon pieces in a cast iron skillet
Photo credit: wideonet/shutterstock

1968

Cost of Bacon: $0.70
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.01

group of happy friends cheering with glasses of red wine and eating fruits and vegetables
Photo credit: DisobeyArt/shutterstock

1969

Cost of Bacon: $0.76
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.16

hippie couple having a picnic outside with campfire
Photo credit: Svitlana Sokolova/shutterstock

1970

Cost of Bacon: $0.82
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.26

sizzling hot bacon pieces in a cast iron skillet
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/shutterstock

1971

Cost of Bacon: $0.69
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.24

McDonald Egg McMuffin in hand
Photo credit: TY Lim/shutterstock

1972

Cost of Bacon: $0.84
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5
This was the last year that a pound of sliced bacon was less than a dollar -- not adjusting for inflation -- ah ... the good old days. It's also the year that the McDonald's unveiled the Egg McMuffin, likely leading to an increase in bacon popularity, demand, and price in the years to come.

bacon, egg, and ham for breakfast in plate
Photo credit: klaikungwon/shutterstock

1973

Cost of Bacon: $1.16
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.51

group of happy friends joking and having fun at barbecue picnic outdoor
Photo credit: DisobeyArt/shutterstock

1974

Cost of Bacon: $1.15
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.81

'Sorry. Due to allocation we can serve no more gasoline today' sign, April 1974
Photo credit: Everett Historical/shutterstock

1975

Cost of Bacon: $1.55
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $7.17
Bacon prices hit a record high in 1975, numbers not seen since 1947. Inflation during the mid-1970s is likely to blame for the price spike, which also happened for oil and other goods. The price was high even by today's standards. These were tough times for bacon lovers.

crispy strips of bacon on a plate on black wooden table
Photo credit: 5 second Studio/shutterstock

1976

Cost of Bacon: $1.51
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.61

vintage young man pointing to the front on unfocused background
Photo credit: Luis Molinero/shutterstock

1977

Cost of Bacon: $1.38
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.67

spoon of sodium nitrite
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

1978

Cost of Bacon: $1.59
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.07
Health concerns over the effects of sodium nitrite -- the salt used to preserve, flavor, and color meats like bacon -- rose after studies suggested it could be carcinogenic. The news surely had an impact on bacon sales, but prices wouldn't dip for another couple years.

baking tray with strips of fried bacon
Photo credit: Africa Studio/shutterstock

1979

Cost of Bacon: $1.48
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.08

hamburger with bacon, egg and french fries on a wooden cutting board
Photo credit: Hans Geel/shutterstock

1980

Cost of Bacon: $1.43
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.32
As we entered the 1980s, slimming down with health-conscious diet fads, Tab, and Thighmasters were all the rage, which meant that indulgent treats like bacon were often shunned or substituted with lower fat options (remember Sizzlean?). As demand declined, so did the price of bacon. Good news for those who skipped the diets and stuck with bacon, though.

bacon on a plate
Photo credit: Bartosz Luczak/shutterstock

1981

Cost of Bacon: $1.62
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.44

family eating American breakfast
Photo credit: Oleksandra Naumenko/shutterstock

1982

Cost of Bacon: $1.99
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.13

homemade bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

1983

Cost of Bacon: $1.95
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.87

fried bacon strips on white plate
Photo credit: Bon Appetit/shutterstock

1984

Cost of Bacon: $1.91
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.58

pan with strips of fried bacon on stove
Photo credit: Africa Studio/shutterstock

1985

Cost of Bacon: $1.98
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.58

man shopping in the meat section of a supermarket
Photo credit: Yutchaphong Chot.Sakul/shutterstock

1986

Cost of Bacon: $2.12
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.82
The mid-1980s saw bacon prices finally crest above the $2 mark, which likely accounted for some sticker shock at the supermarket for bacon fans. But did that stop us from buying it? No way.

Pork Marketing Board launched "The Other White Meat" ad campaign
Photo credit: Courtesy of pork.org

1987

Cost of Bacon: $2.23
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.89
The healthy, low-fat trends of the '80s were especially hard on the pork industry, so the Pork Marketing Board launched "The Other White Meat" ad campaign to encourage people to eat leaner cuts of meat. The campaign worked, but bacon -- still considered too fatty -- suffered with prices dropping dramatically. Meatpackers were even encouraged to sell stockpiled frozen pork bellies as food aid to impoverished countries.

grilled violet asparagus wrapped with bacon
Photo credit: Timolina/shutterstock

1988

Cost of Bacon: $1.97
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.15

people choosing dishes from menu in restaurant
Photo credit: Dragon Images/shutterstock

1989

Cost of Bacon: $1.87
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $3.75
The price of bacon hit a record low in 1989 -- good news for eaters, bad news for the industry. Pork producers urged the Pork Board marketers to lend a hand, encouraging restaurants to incorporate more bacon into their menus.

bacon and ham meat
Photo credit: Jim Bowie/shutterstock

1990

Cost of Bacon: $2.21
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.21

closeup on bacon on plate
Photo credit: Philip Stridh/shutterstock

1991

Cost of Bacon: $2.34
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.28

Hardee's Frisco Burger
Photo credit: Hardees/facebook.com

1992

Cost of Bacon: $2.04
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $3.62
Just as bacon prices dipped low again, fast food giant Hardee's unveiled the Frisco Burger -- a line of San Francisco inspired sandwiches that all featured bacon. It's considered the first time a fast food company put bacon on everything. Not surprisingly, it was a hit. Other fast food companies followed Hardee's lead with more bacon options, but only for limited-time offers as cooking bacon on-site required costly cleaning and ventilation.

smoked bacon with rosemary on wooden table
Photo credit: Nitr/shutterstock

1993

Cost of Bacon: $2.16
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $3.72

candied bacon with pecans and brown sugar cooling on baking rack
Photo credit: Joshua Resnick/shutterstock

1994

Cost of Bacon: $2.30
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $3.86

Wendy's Baconator
Photo credit: Wendy's/facebook.com

1995

Cost of Bacon: $2.34
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $3.82
Great strides in precooked-bacon technology during the early '90s made it much easier for fast food companies to add bacon to their sandwiches. As a result, McDonald's launched the Bacon Double Cheeseburger and Quarter Pounder BLT, followed by Burger King's Whopper with bacon, and Wendy's Baconator. The trend set in motion bacon's rise in popularity and prices increased with demand.

jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheese wrapped in bacon
Photo credit: AS Food studio/shutterstock

1996

Cost of Bacon: $2.90
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.60

salad with bacon
Photo credit: Glowonconcept/shutterstock

1997

Cost of Bacon: $3.20
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.96

chopped bacon on a green cutting board with a carving knife
Photo credit: Ronda Kimbrow/shutterstock

1998

Cost of Bacon: $2.96
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.52

bacon on plate
Photo credit: grass-lifeisgood/shutterstock

1999

Cost of Bacon: $2.95
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.41

raw bacon stripes on wooden background
Photo credit: HandmadePictures/shutterstock

2000

Cost of Bacon: $3.46
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5
After a few years of lower prices, bacon returned to its steady rise as America's new favorite topping. At the same time kale and healthy smoothies became increasingly popular, which prompted a counter-trend of bacon-lovers looking to indulge with even more bacon.

boy eating bacon sandwich at home
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

2001

Cost of Bacon: $3.60
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.06

bacon maple cronut
Photo credit: Leonel Calara/shutterstock

2002

Cost of Bacon: $3.63
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.02
Cookbook author Sara Perry releases "Everything Tastes Better With Bacon," in May 2002, and America agrees in a big way, seeming to take the title as a call to action. Despite the continued rising cost of bacon, we begin to see bacon everywhere -- from bacon ice cream to bacon-topped doughnuts.

stack of delicious pancakes with bacon, honey, nuts and caramelize banana
Photo credit: kkpak/shutterstock

2003

Cost of Bacon: $3.83
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.18

fresh homemade BLT sandwich
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

2004

Cost of Bacon: $4.13
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.44

crispy organic heritage smoked bacon
Photo credit: farbled/shutterstock

2005

Cost of Bacon: $4.09
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.21
While bacon was occasionally used by high-end restaurants -- maybe to wrap scallops -- bacon was mostly relegated to breakfast and fast food. That began to change in the mid-aughts when notable chefs like David Chang and Mario Batali began singing the praises of pork belly and bacon. No longer satisfied with just supermarket bacon, consumers began demanding -- and buying -- artisanal, thick-cut bacon from venerable producers like Niman Ranch and Nueske's.

salted caramel bacon brownie
Photo credit: msaandy033/shutterstock

2006

Cost of Bacon: $4.15
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.13

close up of fried crispy bacon
Photo credit: bonchan/shutterstock

2007

Cost of Bacon: $4.31
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.18

raw beer bacon slices on crumpled paper which herbs
Photo credit: DronG/shutterstock

2008

Cost of Bacon: $4.28
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.95

crispy thick cut smoked bacon
Photo credit: farbled/shutterstock

2009

Cost of Bacon: $4.21
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $4.89
While you might think the Great Recession contributed to a drop in bacon prices, it was most likely a result of the growing price of corn. Often following a period of drought, increases in the price of corn -- the primary source of feed for hogs -- farms often send more animals to slaughter to keep costs low. As a result, the market sees an abundance of pork products, including bacon, and prices drop.

snack with bacon
Photo credit: Tatyana Malova/shutterstock

2010

Cost of Bacon: $4.53
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.17

baked slices of bacon on a dark wooden background
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

2011

Cost of Bacon: $5.14
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.69
The price of a pound of bacon jumps past the $5 mark, even without adjusting for inflation. And America's bacon obsession shows no sign of slowing.

grilled bacon skewers
Photo credit: zi3000/shutterstock

2012

Cost of Bacon: $5.22
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.66
Adjusting for inflation, the price of bacon dipped slightly from 2011 to 2012, a trend again attributed to the rising cost of corn and a glut of bacon on the market, as well as a general slowing of the inflation rate.

dumplings with meat, onions and bacon on a cast iron skillet
Photo credit: Arkadiusz Fajer/shutterstock

2013

Cost of Bacon: $5.53
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.91

two young piglet on hay and straw at pig breeding farm
Photo credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock

2014

Cost of Bacon: $5.84
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $6.14
Pork prices surged in 2014 after a virus wiped out more than 8 million piglets, according to Bloomberg News. In response, farms increased production for the year to come, helping to bring prices back down -- if only slightly.

hot greasy grilled bacon on black plate
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

2015

Cost of Bacon: $5.48
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.76

potatoes baked with bacon, cheese, and dill
Photo credit: Peredniankina/shutterstock

2016

Cost of Bacon: $5.49
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.70

pan with fried eggs on a wooden table
Photo credit: AlexeiLogvinovich/shutterstock

2017

Cost of Bacon: $5.81
Inflation-Adjusted Cost: $5.58
As Americans love affair with bacon continues, the country’s 60,000 pig farmers struggle to keep up with demand. Even reserves of frozen pork belly are at a six-decade low, which in turn has led to another spike in the price of bacon as our demand grows.

Bacon Picks at Severin Bar in Indianapolis, IN
Photo credit: Severin Bar/yelp.com

2018

Cost of Bacon: $4.87
Following a steady rise over the past two decades, bacon prices finally dropped to levels not seen in years -- much to the joy of bacon lovers everywhere. The drop is largely attributed to the hog industry’s fervent expansion over the past few years in an effort to keep up with consumer demand. Bacon prices also often drop slightly around spring as many people instead shop for ham for Easter. Hopefully, bacon prices will continue to stabilize for the coming years -- that is, assuming we don’t devise even crazier ways of eating more bacon.

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