Restaurant Chains Pork Up

Abundance of pigs leads to new menu choices

By Nate Wooley, InvestorPlace Writer

Restaurant menus can be sensitive and fluid things — items are proposed, picked up, debated and marketed very carefully. But sometimes it’s something more prosaic — something as simple as lower prices on a particular ingredient can drive a menu decision.

And that’s why pork is so popular on restaurant menus this fall. An abundance of pigs being slaughtered due to high feed costs has led to many popular chains adding pork to the menu.

Here’s a sample of recent menu additions by big-name restaurants:

  • Golden Corral: Hot Island Pork Ribs
  • Noodles & Company: Braised Pork Shoulder
  • Outback Steakhouse (NASDAQ:BLMN): Sweet Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  • Ram Restaurant & Brewery: Pork Potato Skins and Pulled Pork
  • Red Lobster (NYSE:DRI): Wood-grilled Pork Chops
  • Shari’s Restaurant: Pulled Pork Slider with Blackberry Sauce
  • Smith & Wollensky: Pork Chops

The good times probably won’t last, though, as it has been reported that pork supplies could tumble next year if feed prices stay high and producers such as Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) and Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) decrease their herds.

More on the food prices:

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