Bacon may have finally met an equal competitor in Schmacon.

Schmacon – the beef version of the popular pork treat – was developed by Howard Bender owner of Schmaltz Deli in Naperville, Ill.

“Schmacon is delicious and different than anything else on the market,” Bender shared with the Chicago Tribune. “It has about half the calories and half the fat, and it tastes great.”

The beef bacon product was launched in 2015 and comes from the underbelly of cattle. Typically this cut is used for ground beef.

“It is a new way for us to utilize more of the total carcass,” says Mark Gwin, Certified Angus Beef product integration manager. “What we’re trying to do is value-add those lower priced parts of the carcass.”

Celery and cherry powder help naturally cure the meat and give it the cured meat color without using nitrites. This process helps reduce the amount of sodium used.

Schmacon is not currently available nationwide. However, the product is sold online through the Schmaltz Deli website. It can also be found in in major cities around the Midwest and in Texas at grocery chains like Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Dierberg’s and Central Market.

Along with a domestic launch there is hope to sell beef bacon overseas.

“We have a lot of demand for this product in the Middle East,” Gwin says. Schmacon was on display this past February at the Gulf Food Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Additionally, because religions like Islam and Judaism do not allow pork in the diet it presents the opportunity to market beef bacon to more consumers.

Beef bacon: Schmacon is taking off as bacon alternative

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