What’s causing the dramatic increase in egg prices?

Experts say the current shortage of eggs, which is affecting supply and driving up prices, is due to an outbreak of avian flu
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:23 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Experts say the current shortage of eggs, which is affecting supply and driving up prices, is due to an outbreak of avian flu. The Colorado Department of Agriculture says this is a novel strain of the virus.

“This is a strain or variant that they have not seen before and does not act like they typically do.”

Hollis Glenn with the Colorado Department of Agriculture adds that the department is preparing short, medium, and long term solutions.

“In addition to regulating the cage free eggs program the Colorado Department of Agriculture is also the home of our state veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. Her and her veterinarian team in partnership with USDA have sent up numerous incident command posts.”

Local grocers are feeling the effects. Stacy Poore, the co-owner of Bread and Butter Neighborhood Market in Colorado Springs spent the entire day without eggs on her shelves.

“I think everyone is feeling that there is a shortage of eggs, as you can see our shelf is empty today. We had eggs up until last night, not as much variety as we would normally have but hopefully our delivery tomorrow will come. People are very understanding, but it has been affecting us, it’s hard to get the product.”

Prices have been affected as a result. A dozen eggs will cost you nearly $7 at various grocery stores around town.

A new law which just went into effect in 2023 could still impact prices even when supply returns to normal. The law, HB20-1343 requires that all egg-laying hens be given at least one square foot of space wherever they are housed. By 2025, the law requires that all Colorado egg producers move to a fully cage-free environment.

100% of Colorado egg producers are already compliant, as well as over 1,000 other egg-producers who import their eggs into Colorado according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Poore says that this more humane treatment for the hens will cost you more at the grocery store.

“So if it’s more expensive to the farmers it becomes more expensive to us. Then it ultimately becomes more expensive to the customer. The regulations are put in place for the safety, security, and health of the animals.”

“It is certainly healthier for the animals and it is certainly healthier for us in the long run. But if you’re a senior citizen on a limited budget or you’re a single mother with four children and you’re trying to feed your family the first thing that comes to your mind is not necessarily how the animal was raised. It’s neither right nor wrong it’s just a fact.”