Consumers frustrated with skyrocketing egg prices as avian flu plagues bird population

Business analyst says it's going to take time for consumers to see relief
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 17:02:33-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Consumers are noticing high egg prices at the grocery store as avian flu continues to plague American farms.

Outside a West Palm Beach grocery store Wednesday morning, WPTV met Keith Best, who had just finished a frustrating search for eggs.

"There's only one or two on the shelf," he said. "Otherwise, there's no eggs."

Best said what he could find was out of his price range.

"$Seven for a dozen eggs? Are you crazy?" Best said. "It should be $1.30, $1.50, $1.80."

Keith Best, can't afford rising cost of eggs
Keith Best says he can't afford eggs at the grocery store anymore.

Inside the store next to some empty shelves in the egg aisle, WPTV met another shopper named Penny.

"You can't get Happy eggs," she said. "That's what I eat because I'm used to French eggs."

Like Best, Penny is also frustrated with the prices that are now more than $9 a dozen for organic eggs.

"They're ridiculous," she said.

RELATED: Egg prices too high? Here are some substitutes

Nationwide, the average price for a dozen eggs grew to a record of $3.58 in November, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, it's much higher in many stores.

"There's an epidemic going on among the chicken population," Carl Gould, a business analyst with 7 Stage Advisors, said. "It wiped out like $50 million chickens, and the average American eats as many as a hen can lay in a year."

Gould said because of that, it will take some time for consumers to see relief.

Carl Gould, business analyst for 7 Stage Advisors, doesn't think egg prices will get better right away
Carl Gould, a business analyst with 7 Stage Advisors, thinks it will take some time before consumers see some relief when it comes to the price of eggs.

"The situation here isn't necessarily an economic inflation measure," Gould said. "Laying the requisite amount of eggs is going to take time. So, I would expect that this is going to continue right through to the spring, you know, and we should see this into the summer."

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 58 million birds have been infected with the avian flu as of Jan. 6.

So, the chance of prices dropping soon seems unlikely, leaving some customers, like Best, skipping out on eggs for now.

"I can't afford it," Best said. "It's absolutely frustrating."