Sugar-free bacon may be addressing consumers’ needs, but we’re not so sure those clamoring for sugar-free foods should clear this bacon off the shelves.
Credit: Courtesy of Applegate

Applegate has launched a new product to try to appeal to a wider array of shoppers: sugar-free bacon, which also happens to be gluten-free.

The brand, which is often seen as a label focusing on increasingly natural modes of production and organic offerings, is attempting to address a common customer complaint. 

"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," said Nicole Glenn, Applegate's vice president of marketing, in the company’s release to the public.

The release goes on to claim that Applegate conducted a survey that yielded a not too shocking result: 65% of adults surveyed said they were actively trying to reduce or avoid sugar in their diet. The new bacon product is Applegate's response.

Bacon certainly can be part of a healthy, balanced diet in moderation. It won’t destroy your diet, and the key is usually sticking to a leaner, higher flavor cut like center-cut bacon varieties.

The marketing of the product may lead to some confusion for the run of the mill consumer, however – as a mass-produced product, bacon tends to have relatively low sugar amounts as is, says Jamie Vespa, Cooking Light’s assistant nutrition editor and registered dietitian.

“Unless it’s covered or cured in brown sugar, bacon really doesn’t pack so much sugar that removing it will make a difference,” she says. “It’s mostly fat to begin with.”

Two slices of cooked bacon can carry up to 60 calories, more than 250 milligrams of sodium and 2 grams of saturated fat. Could a sugar-free bacon line convince people that more servings won’t hurt? Possibly. But the key you need to remember is moderation.

Applegate is not the first to offer sugar-free bacon in the industry. Other independent retailers and producers have been offering sugar-free bacon online and in varietal stores across the country.

Since parent company Hormel purchased Applegate in 2015 for $775 million, the brand’s products have been fast-growing in the organic meat sector and can be found in many different sections of the grocery store.

You can find the new sugar-free bacon product in select stores, such as Hy-Vee, starting this month.