Data shows inflation, avian flu driving high egg prices
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The price you pay for a dozen eggs at the grocery store is at record levels, but relief may soon be on the way.
“Every time I come to the grocery store, I pay more money for eggs,” grocery shopper Cappie Stanley said.
You’ve probably noticed it, too. And it’s not going over easy.
“The price is really hard for us as retired people,” Stanley said.
A dozen large eggs cost $3.54, according to research firm Urner Barry. But that’s up 49% year-over-year, according to the November Consumer Price Index.
“From the grocery store standpoint, they’ve skyrocketed,” Sugar Bakeshop owner Mia Maness said.
Nearly 60 million birds – including hens -- have been infected with avian flu in the last year. Of the 700+ outbreaks the CDC reports only one is in South Carolina.
Maness said the cost of the ingredients in her cupcakes have risen 50%.
“When they delivered our eggs today, it was with an apology,” Maness said.
Maness says she gets her eggs from Storey Farms, and they raised prices for the first time this year. She says it’s about a 4% increase.
“They’re beautiful eggs and they bake beautifully. I want him to keep bringing us eggs, but the cost does go up,” she said.
Storey Farms says prices are based solely on costs, which keep going up.
Everything to produce an egg is more expensive, from feed mill for the hens to packaging. Storey said his prices couldn’t keep up with rising prices and inflation.
Three thousand hens produce thousands eggs each week on the farm. Storey’s birds have been safe from avian flu, but he said he’s taking biohazard precautions.
“It’s a thought that crosses my mind all the time,” he said.
Maness said buying local has insulated her from the massive price hikes by national suppliers.
“I would be paying so much more, and I wouldn’t be getting a product that’s as good as what I’m getting,” she said.
On the sunny side, the national average for eggs at the grocery store has been falling since the holidays.
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