October retail bacon prices were up 33% over last year's figures and increased for the fifth month in a row. A pound is now $4.77—the highest monthly average, unadjusted for inflation, since records started being kept in 1980, reports Pork magazine. And pork isn't the only meat commodity on the rise—beef has also been increasing, both because of shrinking cattle and hog herds.
Both are expected to increase again in 2011, pork up to 4% and beef up to 3.5%, according to USDA estimates. Analysts don't expect the trend to right itself anytime soon. “Until joblessness reverses, I see this trend of spreading that dollar to the thinnest continuing,” says one commodities analyst. “I see 2011 as a year where the consumer will feel the effects of higher food prices.” (Read more pork stories.)