You may not have even known there was sugar in your bacon, but Hormel Foods Corp. is creating a sugar-free version in its Applegate brand line.
Applegate, a leader in natural and organic meats, said its Applegate Naturals No Sugar Bacon will start appearing in grocery stores this month.
The business, which Hormel acquired two years ago, is built around a marketing promise of “worry free” meats, and its new product should allay one more concern for ingredient-conscious consumers.
“With a growing demand for sugar-free options, we’re excited to deliver a bacon that supports the needs of those looking to reduce their sugar intake, while upholding Applegate values-making products with humanely raised meats and simple ingredients,” Nicole Glenn, Applegate’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
The product caters to consumers who are wary of the effect that sugar has on their weight. The company cited a recent survey that found 65 percent of adults want to reduce or avoid sugar in their diet.
Brown sugar is routinely used along with salt in the curing process that turns pork belly into bacon. The sweet taste of sugar offsets the saltiness. As well, certain bacteria feed on sugars, creating lactic acid that prevents other bacteria from spoiling the meat.
The Applegate No Sugar Bacon is uncured, however, and its label says the meat must be refrigerated below 40 degrees at all times. The label also calls the bacon “paleo friendly,” a reference to a paleo diet of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Cured meats, because of their sugar content, are generally considered unacceptable in paleo diets. The sugar-free bacon is also free of gluten and casein.
Applegate was a pioneer in the organic meat segment, gaining national distribution and the attention of more traditional meatpackers. Applegate products can now be found throughout the refrigerated and frozen-food sections of the grocery store, selling an array of items from deli meats to cheese to breakfast sausage.