Hormel sells bacon-scented face masks

19 Nov 2020

Bacon remains a perennially popular ingredient in cuisines around the world, and now Hormel is offering consumers one more opportunity to integrate the smell of this beloved breakfast staple into their lives through bacon-scented masks.

Hormel selected its Black Label Bacon as the scent of choice for its over-the-ear, multi-layer cloth protective mask that features the latest in pork-scented technology.

Hormel sells bacon-scented face masks

The idea “to keep the delicious smell of bacon always wrapped around your nose and mouth” is Hormel’s latest marketing push for its Black Label bacon, which is known for out-of-the-box marketing ideas. Previously, the company developed The Black Market, a virtual reality bacon sensory experience; an experimental musical performance using the sounds of bacon; and a bacon-fueled motorcycle.

While bacon is branching out in marketing, the product is also expanding its reach in the food and beverage industry, moving from the breakfast table to ice cream, cocktails and appetizers. This continual expansion of the fatty, pork belly product underscores the American belief that bacon makes everything better. That belief can be seen in the growth of the category. Americans spend $5 billion annually on bacon, and individuals consume an average of 18 pounds per year, according to The Foundation for Economic Education.

Part of this growth is attributable to the proliferation of this pork product through increased interest in Asian and Latino cuisine, the addition of bacon on fast food breakfast choices and its positioning as an add-on for many restaurant menu items, like hamburgers. As a result of the steadily increasing demand for the product, pork producers like Hormel have worked to expand their bacon producing capacity, both for raw and pre-cooked versions.

In fact, demand surges for bacon over the last several years have even resulted in near shortages, such as the bacon scare of 2016 when U.S. pork belly reserves hit a 50-year low. Hormel responded by lifting prices and production capacity, a prudent move as the demand for bacon has slowed little since that time. IRI data reported by industry publication The National Provisioner cited statistics showing sales in the bacon category were up 12.8 percent for the previous 52 weeks ending June 14. Hormel saw an increase in volume sales of 19.5% over 2019, landing the brand in the No. 3 spot for top refrigerated bacon brands.

Despite a professed interest in healthy, better-for-you options, consumers continue to regularly indulge in bacon. However, the release of this bacon-scented mask may present an alternative for those that are concerned about their pork product intake to indulge in the distinctive smell of cooking bacon without actually having to ingest the product to enjoy it.