Pork belly prices have risen sharply — by an eye-opening 80 percent — and frozen pork belly reserves held back for the bacon apocalypse are purported to be at a 60-year low, possibly as a result of US bacon lovers increasing their purchase of the other white meat by some 14 percent in 2016 over the previous three years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But in February, pork experts asserted that claims about a pork shortage were just hot fat.
"To imply that there's going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong," said Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analysis at EMI Analytics, in an interview with The New York Times.
"There's plenty of hogs coming," Meyer said, adding, "There's going to be plenty of bacon."
But apparently those in the bacon industry are seeing an opportunity to turn a market glitch into a profit wave, as pork experts are now asserting that US pig farmers cannot keep up with Americans' demand for the tasty meat product.
The assertion of a bacon shortage and the expectation of higher prices stands alongside this year's record-high 71.7 million US hog population, 3 percent above last year, the Huffington Post reported.
How do those figures for a product that is traded on commodity exchanges by hedge fund managers and financiers add up to a purported shortage and subsequent price increases?
The math might be shady but the pig is apparently in the poke, and, as the short-order cook exclaimed while flipping those tasty slices of bacony goodness: "this too shall pass."