As egg prices rise significantly, local bakers are feeling the impact

The national average price for a dozen eggs hit $3.59 in November, up from $1.72 a year earlier.

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, January 12, 2023
As egg prices rise significantly, local bakers are feeling the impact
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"Prices have gone up crazy over the past several months," said Jack Chen, with Maison Sweet in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- You may have noticed the price of a certain staple at the grocery store skyrocketing. The price of eggs has more than doubled over the past year.

A variety of factors are causing the price increase and it's really stressing consumer budgets and the bottom lines of businesses.

Maison Sweet in University City is opening its doors this week. It's the fourth local bakery for its owners. The other locations go by the name A La Mousse and together the bakers use 1,000 eggs per day.

"Prices have gone up crazy over the past several months," said Jack Chen, with Maison Sweet.

In fact, egg prices have more than doubled over the past year.

"About $70 per case. Now it's like $150 per case," he said.

The national average price for a dozen hit $3.59 in November, up from $1.72 a year earlier.

"It's just too much. It's too much," said Lolita Yancey of West Philadelphia.

"I don't want to buy any. I can't afford it," said Dee Luke of Wynnewood.

Restaurants like Stella in New Hope are feeling the impact, too, they feed as many as 600 people a day so they go through a lot of eggs.

"Our purveyors are pretty good about keeping us abreast of market conditions. And so they gave us a warning a while ago that things were gonna go up. I don't know if anybody anticipated that it would double," said Executive Chef Michael O'Halloran.

While grocery prices overall were up 12% in November, economists say egg prices are up significantly more than other foods even more than chicken or turkey because egg farmers were hit harder by the bird flu.

Other factors are the soaring costs of feed, fuel, and labor.

"We're just trying to be as flexible as possible while maintaining some consistency in our pricing. And keeping our fingers crossed that, you know, as prices, some things go up, the price of other things come down, and then it sort of all balances out at the end of the year," said O'Halloran.

Chen also says while his business is bearing the bulk of the additional cost for now, that may change.

"If the egg price is still so high, we will have to increase the price again," he said.

Indeed, there may be some relief coming in the next couple of months as egg farmers have been replacing their flocks. Plus, demand is easing a bit now that the holiday baking season is over.

To put this in perspective even with the cost increases, eggs remain relatively cheap compared to the price of other proteins like chicken or beef.