With the bacon trend continuing to sizzle, the IN Food Marketing & Design team set out on a difficult journey to determine which bacon brand is best. We compared the applewood smoked thick cut bacon from Hormel, Farmland, Nueske’s and Pure Farms in a blind taste test.
Before cooking, we examined strips and noted that Hormel was the least consistent in terms of shape, which to some felt more natural. Nueske’s appeared the most fatty. We were surprised at the difference in coloring between each brand, noting that Farmland and Pure Farms were similar in meatiness, featuring darker pinkish reds.
The taste test was interesting and delicious! We found that each brand offered something different:
Pure Farms was one of the groups’ favorites. It was salty and maintained nice coloring. We really liked the packaging, it was simple, classy and conveyed a strong heritage. Cost: $4.14 per 12 oz. (at Costco)
Hormel’s flavor was ham-like, which was popular with some of our testers. The inconsistent shape works fine for eating as a side, but would not be recommended for recipes, e.g. bacon-wrapped appetizers. The branding is simple, but consistent and easily recognized. Cost: $6.99 per 12 oz.
Farmland had a nice salty flavor and good aftertaste. It was the other group favorite. The packaging evokes their name, with rolling hills and farms that lend it a natural feel. Cost: $8.25 per 12 oz.
Nueske’s offered the smokiest flavor and was deliciously greasy. The packaging makes it feel more artisanal than the other brands, and highlights the product. Cost: $8.49 per 12 oz.
While Pure Farms and Farmland stood out to the IN Crew, we thought all of these brands offered a great product and were truly delicious. You really can’t go wrong with applewood smoked bacon! It’s the perfect flavor for our Creative Director Lori’s delicious Bacon Jam – get the recipe on our next blog post!