Tired of shelling out the dough? The short answer is inflation and Avian flu have driven up the price of eggs.
So, eggs just like other food items have continued to rise in cost over the past few years. The issue is the price of eggs seems to have soared past everything else. Not to mention, we as Americans consume a ton of eggs. They are not only a breakfast staple but in most of our baked goods. When funds are already low, they have always been an affordable source of protein until now.
In December of 2022, the average price of a dozen eggs in the U.S. was $4.25, more than twice what the cost was earlier in the year. Currently, they are nearing $7.00 a dozen in my local grocery. We consume an average of 278 eggs per person per year. That’s a whopping $160 for a year’s worth of eggs! Yes, even eggs that are in almost everything are not immune to inflation.
The double whammy was already in the works last year with 2 waves of avian influenza. Having a 2nd wave in the Fall, following the typical Spring wave resulted in 29% lower egg inventories by the end of last year. The second wave happened just when the industry was gearing up for increased demand during the holidays. As a result, more than 43 million egg laying hens died. Thus, creating an issue of supply and demand. The industry just never had a chance to fully recovery.
Now enters the triple whammy, by adding in the fact that Russia and Ukraine are the key suppliers of the world’s wheat and grains.. Drum roll.. AKA chicken feed. The war has caused a serious decrease in their exports restricting global supply again driving up prices. Farmers now had to pay more for feed once they were able to raise healthy birds.
In case you need pretty graphs from the government, depicting the pain we feel as we crack eggs for a 3 egg omelet and realize that price is inching to a cup of coffee… Insert graph…
Do we have answers of a better egg forecast in the near future? Not yet, but remember…happy hens… well, we know what that leads to.
Why Chef Blog February 2023