Here's why you may be experiencing sticker shock at the grocery store when you go to buy a dozen eggs.
(CHICAGO) Although inflation has been slowing, a recent trip to the grocery store showed me egg prices are still at an all-time high.
Eggs have historically been a cheap ingredient used in many recipes. For example, I've always found scrambled eggs to be an easy meal for a busy weekday, and eggs provide a healthy amount of protein.
However, in the last year, egg prices have soared, making them a costlier choice than in the past for consumers.
Why did egg prices go up?
A nationwide outbreak of avian flu is at least partly responsible for the high cost of eggs. The bird flu has led to the deaths of millions of egg-laying hens.
Additionally, rising feed costs and supply chain issues have contributed to price increases.
What do eggs cost in the Chicago area?
According to the website for Jewel-Osco at 2940 N. Ashland Avenue in Chicago, 12 cage-free eggs from Lucerne Farms will cost you $4.49, while a Meijer in suburban Plainfield lists a dozen Meijer-brand cage-free eggs at $5.59.
Historically it's been rare for a dozen eggs to cost over $3.00. Currently, the price of eggs has gone up nationwide by 49% since this time last year.
Demand for eggs has increased
CBS News reports Americans' demand for eggs has gone up as people are eating less beef and more eggs. Increased demand in combination with the avian flu, has caused a lack of supply, which results in surging prices.
Relief in sight
Grocery shoppers may see the price beginning to come down soon. According to Chicago's WGN, inventory has been increasing, which will help bring down the prices, although it may take a while for the lower cost of eggs to show up at Chicago area supermarkets.
Rodney Holcomb, an agricultural economics professor at Oklahoma State University, told WGN it could take up to ten months to replenish the supply of laying hens.
“Unlike broilers, which come in with a bunch of new chicks and within six weeks or so they’re fully grown and ready to be processed and eaten, laying hens take months before they reach their laying potential,” said Holcomb.
For now, your cheapest bet for buying eggs is most likely going to be sticking to conventional (not organic) store brand eggs. You can also try replacing eggs in baked goods with substitutes like applesauce or bananas.
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