Foodservice push for bacon

Caterers in the foodservice sector are being urged to make more use of bacon in their dishes.

According to Bpex’s first Foodservice Bacon Report, bacon is the most versatile ingredient for chefs and has a growing place on UK menus.

Figures in the report revealed the total market for dishes including bacon grew by 8% between 2010 and 2012 and restaurants recorded the biggest increase of more than 21%.

It is the everyday use of bacon that downplays its importance in the kitchen, Bpex said. However, the report also showed it was an ingredient used at breakfast, lunch and dinner in various dishes, but many of the dishes failed to embellish the value and flavour it added to the dish.
The report also showed that bacon was enjoyed by 70% of diners and was favoured mostly by men. It was also apparent that the taste and provenance of bacon was important to consumers, and diners increasingly were drawn more to the flavour profile of bacon dishes.

Quality and provenance also have a place in the mind of the customer and the report showed that country of origin was important and something 28% of diners considered when selecting a dish.

Foodservice trade manager at Bpex Tony Goodger explained the report also showed the popularity of quality-assured bacon and how customers could be influenced for the better with menu descriptions and labelling.

“There are many clues here to improve take-up of bacon dishes further. This is particularly important at a time when bacon – and pork in general – is very much in the headlines thanks to campaigns such as Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week and ‘Give a Fork about Your Pork’, fronted by Jimmy Doherty,” Goodger said.

“Quality and assurance are crucial when it comes to bacon,” he said. “And nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than at the breakfast occasion, which itself its growing across the leisure channels. But this need not come at added expense, as diners have demonstrated they would be willing to opt for streaky rather than back rashers, which allow caterers to derive more value from the dish,” he added.

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