Victory is sweet—even without sugar—as Niman Ranch just proved with its Applewood Smoked Uncured No Sugar Bacon awarded Gold in the Meat, Poultry and Seafood category of the Specialty Food Association’s 2021 sofi Awards. This award builds on Niman Ranch’s legacy of producing the finest tasting meat sourced from Certified Humane independent family farms, raising livestock sustainably with no antibiotics or hormones—ever.

To win the highly competitive sofi Award, Niman Ranch’s No Sugar Bacon was blind taste tested against competitors in the category by a group of expert judges made up of seasoned food professionals including chefs, culinary instructors, recipe developers and specialty food buyers. Judges scored each submission on multiple qualities including flavor, appearance, texture, aroma and creativity. With its Gold award recognition, Niman Ranch outperformed all other competitors included in the category.

“This award is a tremendous honor and a testament to the great care our farmers put into raising their hogs. Our community of 650 independent family hog farmers allow their pigs to be pigs—with lots of room to root, roam and romp,” shared Chris Oliviero, Niman Ranch’s General Manager. “We believe that the quality of an animal’s life directly translates into the quality of the meat.”

Niman Ranch first introduced its Applewood Smoked bacon to the market in 1995 when the brand launched the Niman Ranch Pork Company led by founding hog farmer Paul Willis. As more people tried the bacon, demand continued to grow with sales really taking off in 2003 when the Wall Street Journal lauded Niman Ranch’s crispy strips as “what bacon used to taste like…” Since those early days, Niman Ranch’s bacon remains its most in-demand product with numerous awards and recognitions.

Niman Ranch currently offers seven different varieties of bacon—naturally cured over real Applewood or Hickory with no artificial flavors. The sofi Award-winning Applewood-Smoked No Sugar Bacon was introduced in 2017 to fulfill the growing demand from health-focused consumers who don’t want to compromise on flavor or quality. Niman Ranch continues to innovate in the bacon category, just this past winter introducing Bacon Breakfast Sausages.

Source: Niman Ranch