Egg Prices Are Going Up Again (No, It’s Not Because of Inflation)

published Mar 20, 2024
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Credit: Kelli Foster

Easter is right around the corner but if you’re looking for eggs to dye and decorate, you might have trouble. Or the ones you do find may be super expensive. Why? Blame it on the latest bird flu outbreak.

Ongoing cases of  highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have caused flock numbers to rapidly decline. The USDA reported that the outbreak that started in Merced County, California in January has had a direct impact on the national supply of cage-free eggs.The eggs that are available are pricier due to retailers trying to stretch the dollars of their limited inventories. 

According to the latest Consumer Price Index, egg prices have risen 8.4 percent month over month from January to February. And as of February, the average cost of a dozen eggs was $3.00. 

Unfortunately for all involved parties, this is peak egg season so typically sales would be booming. But understandably, the higher prices are giving shoppers pause.

In fact, 2022 was deemed the year of the worst avian flu outbreak in the U.S. on record with over 82 million chickens, turkeys, and other birds affected. This past January and February alone, another two million birds were affected

To make matters worse, the bird flu is extremely contagious. The virus typically spreads by wild birds and infects domesticated ones as contaminants pass through waterways or are transported on shoes and cars. Once one bird gets infected, the entire flock has to be killed to reduce the spread. So fewer birds means fewer eggs. 

Thankfully, humans don’t seem to get sick from it, but it’s obviously less than ideal, especially as we move closer to Easter. So if you happen to live near a local farmer or someone that has their own chickens, maybe get your eggs from them. Or just make these cute Easter egg blondies instead.