How Much Bacon Does America Eat Per Year?

Bacon is a beloved food for many Americans. The salty, smoky flavor adds richness and texture to everything from breakfast plates to burgers and salads. But just how much bacon does the average American consume in a year? The numbers are pretty staggering.

In this article, we’ll break down the statistics on bacon consumption in America. We’ll look at total pounds eaten, individual consumption rates, breakfast habits, and the story behind how bacon became a breakfast staple. Let’s dive in!

Total Bacon Consumption in America Per Year

According to the latest data, Americans eat a whopping 11 billion servings of bacon every year That translates to around 5.6 billion pounds consumed annually nationwide.

To put that into perspective. if you lined up all the bacon eaten by Americans each year end to end it would wrap around the Earth’s equator more than 7 times!

On average, each American consumes about 18 pounds of bacon per year. That’s equivalent to the weight of a car tire.

Bacon has remained among America’s favorite foods for decades. Its versatility, flavor, and marketing by the pork industry have secured its place in the American diet.

The Average American Eats 18 Pounds of Bacon Per Year

Looking at individual consumption rates, the numbers remain impressive. Each American eats about 18 pounds of bacon on average every year.

That equates to around 352 strips or 44 packages annually, assuming each package contains 8 strips.

To visualize 18 pounds of bacon, imagine carrying around a small dog or cat all year long!

Bacon consumption does vary by age, gender, and region. Men eat more bacon than women, averaging around 19.5 pounds per year compared to 16.2 pounds for women.

And certain areas of the country, like Nebraska, far outpace others when it comes to bacon intake. Nebraskans eat 132% more bacon than the national average.

70% of Bacon is Eaten at Breakfast

Roughly 70% of bacon consumed in America is eaten at breakfast time. This habit was cemented in the 1920s thanks to clever marketing by the Beech-Nut Packing Company.

Looking to boost lagging bacon sales, the company hired Edward Bernays, the “Father of Public Relations.” He conducted a survey of 5,000 doctors asking if a heavier breakfast was healthier. Most said yes.

Bernays then publicized the doctor-recommended “hearty breakfast” of bacon and eggs in newspapers and media outlets across the country. Bacon sales skyrocketed as it became a breakfast staple.

Today, eating bacon in the morning remains common practice in many households. From classic plates of bacon and eggs to BLTs, bacon provides a savory start to the day.

Bacon Consumption Accounts for 18% of Pork Intake

Bacon makes up a sizable portion of pork consumption in America. Around 18% of all pork eaten in the U.S. is in the form of bacon.

Americans consume about 51 pounds of pork per capita each year. So out of that total, around 9 pounds on average comes from bacon.

To meet this demand, the U.S. produces over 2 billion pounds of bacon annually. Most comes from large-scale facilities in the Midwest and South.

Iowa and North Carolina lead bacon production, aided by their strong presence in hog farming and pork processing.

The Rise of Bacon: From Ancient China to Modern Breakfasts

While many view bacon as quintessentially American, its origins trace back thousands of years and multiple continents away.

  • Around 1500 B.C., the Chinese were the first to cure pork belly with salt, creating an early form of bacon.

  • Pigs were domesticated in China by 4900 B.C. and in Europe by 1500 B.C., setting the stage for bacon production.

  • Ancient Romans and Greeks likely learned bacon curing methods through conquests in the Middle East.

  • Bacon grew in popularity across Europe and other regions over the centuries. Its long shelf life via curing made it a practical meat option.

  • Bacon arrived in the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries with Spanish and British colonists. Feral pigs soon became a food staple.

  • American hog breeding and pork processing advanced bacon production through the 1800s. Meatpacking emerged as a major U.S. industry.

  • In the 1920s, a PR campaign by Beech-Nut Packing positioned bacon and eggs as the perfect healthy breakfast, cementing bacon’s place in the American diet.

The Pork Industry Fuels Bacon Supply

Two companies dominate bacon production in America today – Smithfield and Tyson. They run massive facilities capable of slaughtering over 20,000 pigs daily.

To supply these plants, the U.S. has over 67,000 pig farms, largely concentrated in the Midwest and North Carolina. These intensive operations have questionable animal welfare practices but enable cheap, mass bacon production.

The industry also relies heavily on immigrant labor, from Southeast Asians to Africans to Latin Americans. These workers endure difficult conditions and minimal pay.

Understanding the true costs of industrial bacon production may influence consumer choices. But bacon remains highly popular, with over 95% of Americans eating pork.

Potential Health Effects of Eating Bacon

With bacon’s popularity comes scrutiny of its health effects. Concerns include its:

  • High sodium content – the AHA recommends less than 2300mg per day, but just 3 slices of bacon provide 1000mg. Excess sodium increases disease risks.

  • Nitrates/nitrites used in curing – these may form cancer-causing compounds when cooked. Even “uncured” bacon contains some.

  • Saturated fat and calories – regular bacon is high in saturated fat at 5g per slice and has about 40 calories per slice.

  • Processed meat links – studies associate frequent processed meat consumption with increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and other conditions.

However, bacon lovers point out that high-quality, uncured bacon in moderation may not pose major risks for most people. As with any food, balance and smart choices are key.

Creative Bacon Recipe Ideas

Given bacon’s popularity, creative recipes abound for incorporating it into meals and snacks. Here are some tasty ideas:

  • Bacon-wrapped dates – stuff pitted dates with cream cheese or nuts then wrap with partially cooked bacon and bake until crispy.

  • Candied bacon – coat strips with brown sugar or maple syrup then bake until caramelized.

  • Bacon and cheese stuffed mushrooms – mix crumbled bacon into cream cheese and stuff large mushroom caps. Bake until hot and melty.

  • Bacon egg cups – line muffin tins with bacon slices then crack an egg into each. Bake until eggs are set.

  • Bacon Bloody Mary – rim a glass with bacon salt then add vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire, and garnish with a bacon strip.

  • Bacon mac and cheese – add cooked crumbled bacon to macaroni and cheese. Can also use bacon fat to make a cheese sauce.

  • Bacon jam – slowly cook chopped bacon with onions, vinegar, brown sugar, spices and coffee to make a spreadable jam.

The possibilities are endless for America’s favorite pork product. Moderation and smart preparation are key to balancing bacon’s risks. But its iconic taste keeps Americans coming back year after year.

What If You Eat BACON Every Day For 30 Days?


How much bacon does America eat?

This statistic shows the amount of bacon eaten in the United States from 2011 to 2020. The data has been calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS). According to this statistic, 16.39 million Americans used 5 pounds or more of bacon in 2020.

How much bacon is sold in the U.S. each year?

Over the past year, bacon has generated $6.3 billion in sales in the United States. This total is only down 1.3% from last year, which IRI consultant Amanda Evans said is good considering the high rate of inflation at 5.5%. Sales volume decreased slightly by 6.5% to nearly 1 billion tonnes.

How many pounds of bacon does a person eat a year?

Not only is it served at almost every breakfast restaurant, but it’s a meat option in most breakfast meals including omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and even crumbled on top of doughnuts. In fact, the average American eats 18 pounds of bacon each year and 70 percent of that is consumed at breakfast.

How much bacon do Americans eat a year?

Each year over 2 billion pounds of bacon is produced in the States. – The average American consumes about 18 lbs. of bacon each year. – Nebraska tops the list as the most bacon-centric state, with a consumption rate that’s a whopping 132% above the national average. – Americans consume about 1.1 billion servings of bacon annually.

How many Americans eat bacon in 2020?

A paid subscription is required for full access. This statistic shows the consumption of bacon in the United States in 2020. The data has been calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS). According to this statistic, 268.04 million Americans consumed bacon in 2020.

How much meat is consumed in the US a year?

Then, meat consumption fell from 2007 to 2013, reaching a low of 235 pounds per person in 2014. From 2015 to 2019, per capita consumption increased each year, reaching 264 pounds per person in 2020. Two items contributed to the decline in per capita consumption in the period from 2007 through 2016.

Which state eats the most Bacon?

Nebraska tops the list as the most bacon-centric state, with a consumption rate that’s a whopping 132% above the national average. – Americans consume about 1.1 billion servings of bacon annually. It’s clear that bacon is a beloved food in America, with a rich history and a wide range of uses.

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