Why are eggs so expensive? It's not just inflation

Jillian Mele Image
Friday, January 20, 2023
Why are eggs so expensive? It's not just inflation
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In December, the average price of eggs in the U.S. was $4.25 for a dozen of Grade A large eggs. That's up 18% from November. Experts say it's not just inflation that's causing the rise.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's hard not to notice. The cost of eggs has skyrocketed in the last year, continuing to leave many people with sticker shock at the grocery store.

Alice Wright Bailey from West Philadelphia says, "I don't buy them anymore. I can't afford them."

And she is not alone.

"That's one of the reasons I stopped buying them," said Michael Walker, of Brewerytown.

In December, the average price of eggs in the U.S. was $4.25 for a dozen of Grade A large eggs. That's up 18% from November and almost two-and-a-half times as high as a year ago. It's also the highest recorded price since 1980.

But why?

Experts say it's not just inflation. An avian flu outbreak has significantly decreased supply.

"This recent outbreak of bird flu has been one of the worst, if not, the worst. That killed a lot of the egg-laying birds, and farmers also have to kill the rest of them to avoid the spread," says Ed Nelling, the professor and finance department head of Drexel University's LeBow College of Business.

"You run into this problem like avian bird flu when you cram so many hens in the same building of the same species or breed. Those types of diseases are very rare when it comes to local egg production," says Vincent Finazzo, founder & CEO of Riverwards Produce Market.

He adds when you buy local, you will see and taste the difference and help your neighbors.

Finazzo says they have been selling so many eggs, they are flying off the shelves, and he keeps upping their orders each time.

"If you support your local community, your local farms, the supply chain in your region and state, prices tend to come down and you are supporting each other," he says.