Bacon Prices Are Rising and Even Costco Can't Keep Them Down

Bulk retailer hopes to "delay as long as possible" when it comes to raising prices.

It's been about a year since the first wave of Covid-induced panic buying began, which means we're all a little more used to the idea of fluctuating prices and inconsistent supply when we go grocery shopping. Now, however, a surprising demand-based development at Costco could truly test our limits.

Recently, the big box retailer admitted that it's got a bit of a bacon problem. Specifically, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti admitted to investors that "bacon is up 45 percent in pounds, for whatever reason," suggesting that they're paying a much higher price to curate cured pork for its customers.

As it so often goes with these sorts of surges, there are issues on both sides of the supply/demand equation. In addition to what Galanti describes as "a lot of demand" there are a few supply hurdles as well. As Farm Journal's Pork reports, a respiratory syndrome outbreak in Minnesota and Iowa has affected herd sizes, and an outbreak of African swine fever in Chinese hogs has also caused problems.

baked bacon draining on paper towels
MattOlay V-H

With a reputation as a place where you can buy a lot for a little to uphold, Costco says it'll do what it can to keep the higher prices they pay for their pork supply from getting passed on to customers. Galanti tells Fox Business that the plan is to "at least delay [price increases] as long as possible," though there's no telling how long they can hold the line.

Because it's bacon we're talking about, it's unlikely that demand will dry up anytime soon, but hopefully it's only a matter of time before supply balances out again — if only because the pork industry putting its illness-related issues behind it might offer some hope that our own human pandemic could someday be over.

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