BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – If you eat eggs, you probably know you’re paying historic prices right now. Egg prices have doubled from November prices, which is a nearly 60 percent increase from a year ago.
Depending on where you shop or what brand you buy, you can pay $5.00 to $6.00 or even $7.00 for a carton of eggs.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I mean — they’ve got to be golden chickens or something — it’s too expensive,” said Cheryl Fabbino of Guercio & Sons.
At Guercio’s on Grant Street on Buffalo’s west side, their jumbo eggs are $6.09, but the store said it expects prices to start dropping.
“You know when you’re talking like $6, $7, $8 for a bunch of eggs — that’s a lot,” Fabbino said.
“It’s been a very profitable thing for us that allows us to keep our prices competitive — it’s like they’ve taken it, and that’s great,” replied The Howling Rooster owner Caren Paterniti.
At The Howling Rooster on Englewood Avenue in Tonawanda, rising egg prices are hitting the bottom line of breakfast profitability.
Paterniti tells me that his egg prices are now up 500 percent.
“We started at $20 per case, now I think we’re at an all-time high of $90. They slide back a little bit, but it definitely kills us because we don’t just serve eggs. we also use them in many recipes,” said Paterniti.
“How many eggs do you pass here at the restaurant?” Buckley asked. “Oh my God, there are probably 12 cases a week. We can get through five of them on Sunday alone,” Paterniti replied.
One of the biggest reasons for high egg prices is that bird flu has affected about 57 million chickens.
A statement I received from the American Egg Council noted that egg farmers typically cannot determine egg prices and that, in addition to bird flu, there are “several factors” including inflation, supply chain issues, feed, grain, labor, diesel fuel and other factors. . Shipping also affects egg farms.
“Affordable food is important for everyone, and as one of the best quality proteins available, eggs remain a great value. Although egg farmers typically can’t set the price of eggs, they do what they can to keep costs down and maintain a steady supply of the nutritious eggs Americans rely on. Prices reflect several factors beyond the farmer’s control, including inflation and supply chain issues related to feed and grain, labor, diesel and transportation costs and availability.
In addition, intermittent supply disruptions due to avian influenza affecting egg farms as well as commercial broiler and turkey farms in several states temporarily impacted commodity prices. Egg farms follow strict biosecurity to protect their hens and ensure they can meet customer demand, but occasional supply disruptions affect prices.
The good news is that egg farms are recovering quickly. In fact, most egg farms affected by HPAI this year have recovered and returned to egg production. Nationwide, according to the USDA, we currently have about 6% fewer hens than we normally would, so egg farms are recovering quickly, but we’re not quite back yet.
Egg farmers work closely with each other and their customers to ensure that everyone has the eggs they need. With more than 300 million egg-laying hens in this country—almost one bird for every American—isolated deficiencies are quickly corrected. Although no one can predict the future, despite temporary price increases, egg sales have remained strong. “People love eggs, and as one of the best quality protein sources available, consumers know eggs are still good value.”
American Egg Council (AEB)
For now, the owner and staff at The Howling Rooster are working to find the lowest egg prices through three different providers.
“The executive manager and the chef are very careful to compare the prices with the three and the best prices because all three suppliers are very good,” Paterniti said.