Why Are Eggs So Expensive Right Now?
U.S. egg prices hit record highs after rising throughout 2022, primarily because of a global avian flu outbreak.
For Context: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a dozen large Grade A eggs in the U.S. rose from $1.93 in January 2022 to $3.12 in August — beating the previous record of $2.97 in September 2015. From there, prices spiked to $4.25 in December 2022. Price spikes in both 2015 and 2022 were largely attributed to outbreaks of avian flu; according to the Department of Agriculture, 2022’s outbreak led to the loss of over 43 million egg-laying hens. The problem is global — many countries like New Zealand and Malaysia have also faced spiking egg prices, elevating the role of egg exporters like India.
Other Factors: Avian flu does not explain the whole picture, however. The Department of Agriculture also pointed to high holiday demand, and others have pointed to inflation, lingering supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine, which impacted supplies of chicken feed. Furthermore, some called on the FTC to investigate potential price gouging after the nation’s top egg producer reported record profits.
How the Media Covered It: Headlines were awash with puns and humor, with references to “egg-flation” and advice on how to “egg-scape from high prices.” Coverage was generally balanced, with all sides covering various factors impacting egg prices. Some commentators from the right accused President Joe Biden of “blaming” inflation on the avian flu outbreak.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the Left$18 a dozen: how did America’s eggs get absurdly expensive?
The egg carton has become the symbol of inflation. By the end of 2022, prices had shot up 60% year-over-year putting a strain on holiday budgeting for households across the country.
Some Americans got creative with their sourcing. Attempts to smuggle eggs across the US-Mexico border have surged, US border patrol says, with the agency reporting that the number of egg and poultry seizures rose 108% from 1 October to 31 December. Shoppers are also seeking out local farms, which can be cheaper. Egg farmers on TikTok have poked fun at this boon, calling themselves “egg dealers”,...
From the CenterRecord-Breaking Egg Profits Prompt Accusation of Price Gouging
A farmer-advocacy organization says record-breaking increases in the price of eggs isn’t being caused by inflation or avian flu, as claimed by egg companies, but by price collusion among the nation’s top egg producers.
In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week, the organization Farm Action accused the country’s dominant egg producers of scheming to raise prices.
“The real culprit behind this 138% hike in the price of a carton of eggs appears to be a collusive scheme among industry leaders to turn inflationary conditions and...
From the Right‘Eggflation’ hammering New York, southwest states the hardest
New Yorkers are shelling out big-time for their breakfast omelets as “eggflation” hammers grocery shoppers nationwide, according to fresh data released Monday.
The average list price for a dozen eggs in New York increased by a whopping 57% in January compared to the same month a year ago, according to market intelligence firm Datasembly.
At a Whole Foods in Midtown East, a carton of eggs is selling for anywhere from $3.49 to $9.99, depending on the variety. Eggs are similarly expensive at a Fairway Market location on the Upper East Side, where...
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