Bacon Maximizes Menus

Consumers continue to crave bacon. The protein is dynamic since it can be offered during all dayparts through a number of food combinations from breakfast sandwiches and bacon-topped doughnuts to deli sandwiches and even tacos.

Technomic MenuMonitor data shows that bacon was the second most-menued protein on c-store breakfast sandwiches in the second quarter. In addition, bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches saw a 34.6% increase on c-store menus in the second quarter year-over-year period. Operators can attract a wider clientele by offering alternative-protein bacon like turkey or vegetarian. Flavored bacon presents another opportunity to entice customers. In July, flavored bacon on sandwiches was trending at quick-service chains including Dairy Queen, which launched a FlameThrower Cheeseburger with jalapeño bacon, and Arby’s, which rolled out Brown Sugar Bacon sandwiches with thick-cut bacon sprinkled with brown sugar.

Base: 1,500 Source: 2015 Burger Consumer Trend Report

Base: 1,500; Source: 2015 Burger Consumer Trend Report

C-stores can appeal to bacon-seeking customers by offering it as a topping on burgers and sandwiches. Technomic’s 2015 Burger Consumer Trend Report reveals that bacon stands out as a leading burger topping, with 67% of consumers reporting they would consider ordering bacon on their burgers. It is strongly preferred by both younger (63%) and older (69%) customers alike, speaking to the widespread popularity of bacon as a burger topping. During the summer, both Holiday and Sheetz launched Cowboy Burgers featuring bacon, and in July, Hot Stuff Pizza added a Bacon Cheeseburger Wrap. Offering less expensive meat toppings like bacon can help operators balance food costs while continuing to menu flavorful, even indulgent, options. BLT sandwiches are another cost-saving option that also allow opportunities for c-store operators to put their own spin on the traditional sandwich. For example, QuickChek recently debuted a Turkey Avocado BLT served on flatbread, and Dash In launched a Craveable Sandwiches Menu featuring an Egg ‘n’ BLT Bagel sandwich in July.

Base: Q2 2015 - 181 menu items Source: MenuMonitor

Base: Q2 2015 – 181 menu items; Source: MenuMonitor

In addition to handhelds, bacon is also trending on pizzas. Technomic’s MenuMonitor shows a 25% increase in the number of bacon-topped pizzas offered in c-stores compared to the previous year. Along with its Bacon Cheeseburger Wrap, Hot Stuff Pizza launched a Bacon Cheeseburger Handcrafted Pizza in July. The popularity of bacon-topped pizza is influenced by consumers looking for more indulgent, crunchy toppings. Looking forward, c-store operators should experiment with new ways to use bacon since the protein remains top of mind for consumers.


Shannon Polk

Shannon Polk is an Assistant Editor, Content Analysis at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. She writes, edits and analyzes content for the company’s newsletters, blog and custom publications.

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  1. Bacon maximizes everything!!!!

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