October 31/Chicago/Press Release -- Pork was the fastest-growing protein in the foodservice industry for the past two years, according to Technomic Inc.’s "2013 Volumetric Assessment of Pork in Foodservice." Total pork sold through foodservice outlets reached a record-breaking 9.25 billion pounds, up 462 million pounds from the previous 2011 survey. The 2.6% increase outpaced the total protein growth average of 0.8% and the 1.5% total growth of the foodservice industry itself.

“We’re pleased to see such positive growth in foodservice, especially carnita meat, shoulder/butt and pulled pork,” said Stephen Gerike, director of foodservice marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “The volumetric study shows that foodservice operators are leveraging pork’s versatility.”

Since 2011, fresh pork has driven growth of the total pork category, increasing by 3.5% on an annual basis. Sales of processed pork grew 2.3%, largely driven by sales of ham, breakfast sausage and bacon. The study also showed that of the 24 pork product categories reviewed, 22 demonstrated positive growth in sales.

On a per-pound basis, bacon grew the most between 2011 and 2013, up 102 million pounds. Carnita meat, shoulder/butt and pulled pork grew the fastest by percent, with a compound annual growth rate of 8%, 6.6% and 6.4%, respectively. Ground pork, Canadian bacon, whole loin, Italian specialty meats and ribs also demonstrated notable growth.

“When it comes to the three major foodservice day parts -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- pork is almost equally represented, but sales grew most aggressively in the areas of breakfast proteins and snacks,” Gerike said.