Two core parts of a delicious, if not necessarily the most healthy, breakfast have been selling at near all-time highs recently: We speak, of course, of coffee and bacon. Consumers can rejoice a little that the price of Java has finally stopped rising, and even begun to decrease in some cases. As for America’s favorite cured breakfast meat, the combination of a weakened economy and high bacon prices has caused a significant rise in pork supplies—and it’s possible that prices could be cut to juice consumer demand.
For months, consumers have been facing increasingly higher coffee prices, at times with the average cup costing 20¢ more every couple weeks. Last week, consumers caught a break and could finally feel the effects of the recently weakened wholesale market for coffee when J.M. Smucker Co. (which makes Dunkin’ Donuts and Folgers brands) dropped retail coffee prices at supermarkets and other stores by an average of 6%. This week, per CNN Money, Kraft followed suit by slashing the price of its Maxwell House brand by 6% as well.
Prices may retreat further because more competitors are likely to do the same, potentially starting something of a price war, and because, as the Wall Street Journal reported, the Latin American countries that produce much of the world’s coffee are expecting enormous harvests this year. So let the Java price wars begin!
With bacon, the price situation is less clear. The BLT effect usually causes an annual spike in bacon prices around now, with prices rising to coincide with the peak tomato-picking season, and this year has been no different. But while Bloomberg reports wholesale pork (used to make bacon) reached its highest price since 1997 earlier this month, pork supplies have also increased sharply due to a rise in production and the fact that, due to the economy and higher bacon prices, consumers have been buying cheaper (or just plain less) meats lately.
As of the end of July, warehouses were stockpiling 16% more pork supplies than they were a year earlier. It’s not unreasonable to think that the surplus will eventually result in price breaks for bacon-loving consumers. Let’s hope they come in time to enjoy cheaper bacon with some of those peak-season tomatoes.