From crackers to popcorn, recent product launches feature the flavor of bacon, suggesting the trend still has some sizzle.
In March, Mondelēz International introduced Ritz crackers seasoned with the flavors of cracked black pepper and bacon. "Ritz recognized America's love for the taste of bacon and wanted to help take bacon flavor to places it's never been before," said Katrina Cohen, senior brand manager of Ritz.
The Kellogg Co. has added a limited-edition bacon variety of Pringles sold exclusively in Wal-Mart stores.
Launched in March, Lance Bolds cracker sandwiches from Snyder’s-Lance include a bacon cheddar flavor. The product features crackers specked with imitation bacon bits and a smear of sharp cheddar, and has 3 grams of protein per serving. The product line, which targets younger consumers, also includes pizza and buffalo wing blue cheese varieties.
Frito-Lay added to its Ruffles Ultimate line of potato chips with a loaded bacon and cheddar potato skins variety. Made with bacon fat, the chips have deep ridges and are seasoned with cheddar, blue cheese, romano cheese, bacon and smoke flavors and green onion.
Last year, Kettle Brand added a maple bacon flavor to its line of kettle-cooked potato chips. Combining the smokiness of bacon with maple syrup sweetness and a hint of chili pepper, the snack was developed over a nine-month period, during which hundreds of prototypes were formulated and tested.
Snyder’s of Hanover added a bacon cheddar flavor to its line of pretzel pieces. Chunks of sourdough hard pretzels are seasoned with a traditional smokehouse flavor and touch of cheddar cheese. The variety joins such flavors as jalapeño, buttermilk ranch, hot buffalo wing and honey mustard and onion.
Pepperidge Farm last summer introduced a line of Goldfish Puffs, air puffed cheese snacks for teenagers, featuring a cheddar bacon variety. The snacks are baked, not fried, gluten-free and contain 140 calories per serving.
“Today’s American teens are the Goldfish generation,” said Irene Chang Britt, senior vice-president of global baking and snacking at Campbell Soup Co. and president of Pepperidge Farm, during a July 25 analyst meeting. “They were young children when we brought our mascot, Finn, to life and began investing to make Goldfish a powerhouse brand. Our insight shows they retain a strong affinity with the brand.”
Bacon ranch popcorn from Popcorn, Indiana is seasoned with buttermilk, cheddar and blue cheese and a smoky bacon flavor. The product is gluten-free with whole grains and zero grams of trans fat.
The Sizzlin’ Bacon variety of Bigs sunflower seeds is coated in Bacon Salt, a bacon-flavored seasoning salt made by J&D’s Foods, Inc., which also sells bacon-flavored spreads, microwave popcorn and croutons.
Oberto Brands last year launched bacon jerky, made with bacon, water, sea salt and sugar, with 20% less fat than pan-fried bacon. “The bacon craze isn’t new, but bacon cravings are still going strong and consumers do not have a way to enjoy good quality bacon outside their home or without the messy preparation,” said Tom Ennis, chief executive officer.
Phoney Baloney’s developed a meatless bacon alternative called Coconut Bacon, which features crispy bites with the smoky, salty flavor of bacon. The product is made from organic coconut and tamari, plus maple syrup, liquid smoke, grapeseed oil and spices. On the success of its original flavor, the company is adding four varieties: soy-free reduced-sodium, chipotle barbecue, apple fennel and candied. The shelf-stable product may be used as a topping on pizza, salads, sandwiches and baked goods.