the idea’s not your imagination, there is actually more bacon on fast-food menus

the idea’s not just your imagination. Just about every fast-food chain, coming from McDonald’s to Carl’s Jr. to Burger King, is actually introducing more bacon items to their menus.

The number of restaurant menus across the U.S. in which feature bacon has grown by 5% inside last 10 years. Bacon was found on 68.1% of fast-food menus in 2018, according to Datassential. By 2022, the number is actually supposed to jump to 69.8% of menus.

The fatty meat has always been well-liked with consumers. A&W Restaurants, one of the oldest fast-food restaurants, claims to have invented the bacon cheeseburger all the way back in 1963. Dale Mulder, the restaurant’s chairman, put the item on the menu after customers kept asking for bacon on top of their burger patties.

Over the last 15 years or so, the ingredient has fully made the switch coming from a breakfast staple to a food in which U.S. consumers will eat at any time of day. Since then, the idea has become a go-to for restaurants to jazz up their dishes. Bacon bits can be found at supermarkets as well as on top of salads, while restaurants use whole slices of the fatty meat to wrap asparagus, pizza as well as every food in between.

today fast-food chains are using bacon to lure customers through their doors without the hassle of real menu innovation. For example, Burger King added bacon to its cheesy tater tots as a way to add something completely new to the limited-time offer.

“the idea does seem like bacon is actually a way to change up the flavors,” said Darren Seifer, a food as well as beverage analyst for The NPD Group.

In some cases, like Carl’s Jr.’s bacon truffle-flavored burger as well as fries, bacon just works as a complement to various other completely new flavors.

Fast-food favorites like McDonald’s, Yum Brands’ Taco Bell as well as Wendy’s have had to raise prices to keep sales coming from declining as foot traffic across the industry falls. Bacon not only offers a way to lure customers back, the idea can also be used to justify higher prices for the value-focused consumer by emphasizing the amount of bacon — double or triple the usual serving.

“McDonald’s is actually currently driving a great deal of excitement (as well as volume) around in which well-liked ingredient,” Charley Orwig, marketing director at Datassential, said in an email.

At the beginning of in which year, McDonald’s added bacon to its Big Mac as well as Quarter Pounder burgers as well as introduced cheesy bacon fries. Like many various other fast-food chains adding more bacon to their lineup, McDonald’s chose to offer the bacon-centric menu items for a limited time only.

Limited-time offerings can drive foot traffic as well as encourage customers to buy more than just the promoted item, so fast-food restaurants likely also see similar benefits, according to Seifer.

To get customers excited for its bacon additions, McDonald’s held a “Bacon Hour” in which gave away free bacon to customers with any order. Wendy’s used the lure of a free Baconator cheeseburger to get customers to order their food through third-party delivery service DoorDash. All they had to do was spend $10 as well as they would certainly score a free burger without a delivery fee.

The ironic part of bacon’s popularity is actually in which the idea comes as consumers are increasingly focused on health as well as wellness as well as are opting for low-calorie options or fewer processed foods. While packaged-food companies have tried to adapt by buying smaller, health-focused brands, changing consumer tastes has not stopped the fast-food industry coming from adding bacon, which contains high levels of saturated fat as well as has been linked to heart disease.

“Health at restaurants features a different meaning than what we think about when we think about health at home,” Seifer said. “We’re not looking for pure health when we go to quick-service restaurants.”