Packers go whole hog, add bacon-centric food stand at Lambeau

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' brain trust had plenty of built-in applause lines during Thursday morning's annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.

General manager Ted Thompson merely had to mention Aaron Rodgers' name to get the crowd of 8,200 to hoot and holler. President/CEO Mark Murphy simply had to show a replay of Rodgers' 61-yard Hail Mary pass that beat the Detroit Lions -- and went on to win NFL play of the year and an ESPY as the best play in all of sports -- to bring the team's "owners" to their feet.

But those reactions weren't any louder than the one Mike Weller, the chairman of the executive board's marketing committee, generated with one word: bacon.

Weller's announcement that the Packers are opening a bacon-centric concession stand at Lambeau Field -- called the Patrick Cudahy Packhouse, with construction beginning this week -- may have received the biggest cheer of the day.

"I didn't realize that Patrick Cudahy would get quite the ovation," Murphy said with a chuckle after the meeting adjourned. "It's a credit, I guess, to the tastes of Wisconsinites."

Among the menu items will be "The Pigskin," a bacon-wrapped baked potato topped with chili, chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and chives, and bacon-crusted cheese curds served with a side of bacon-ranch dressing. More menu items, created in conjunction with the team's food service provider, Delaware North, will be announced later.

David LeGrand, a sales executive in the team's Milwaukee office, said the menu for the stand is "going through the final approval process" and the Packers hope it'll open in time for the team's first home preseason game on Aug. 12 against Cleveland. It'll be located on the lower-level concourse outside of section 124, making it "accessible to anyone in the seating bowl that wants to try the unique fare," LeGrand said.

The concession stand springs from a partnership with Patrick Cudahy, which is "the official bacon of the Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field." (How many other NFL teams have an official bacon?) The company, which was founded in 1888, is based in the Milwaukee suburb of Cudahy, named for the company's founder.

The Packers also have more health-conscious food selections at other concession stands, including their Titletown Wellness menu, created in conjunction with Bellin Health, the team's official healthcare partner.