The data on egg prices is based on product pricing and availability at more than 200 retailers and more than 150,000 stores across North America, including major operators such as Walmart, Kroger and Target, according to Datasembly.
The largest spikes in egg prices have occurred in the southwest. In Arizona, the average list price for eggs is up 97% year-over-year – the largest increase of any US state. Prices are up 82% in Nevada, 78% in New Mexico and 71% in Utah.
States with the lowest price increases are still experiencing some sticker shock, with eggs 21% more expensive in California, 22% in Alaska and 24% in Washington.
The spike in egg prices is one of the most notable signs of the inflation crisis still plaguing households in New York and other states across the US. Experts have cited a confluence of factors that have driven the increase, including pandemic-era supply chain and a bird flu outbreak that has decimated US production.
“The primary cause of inflated egg prices is due to the worst breakout of Avian bird flu – killing more than 50 million hens since early 2022,” said Curt Covington, senior director of partner relations at AgAmerica.
“Other factors contributing to high egg prices include the increased cost for chicken feed as soybean prices skyrocketed last year, peak demand for eggs during the holidays, and lagging production rates throughout recent years to meet raising consumer demand,” Covington added.
Covington said the industry will “likely see a 25-30% correction in inflated egg prices by the second quarter of 2023, if not sooner” as red-hot demand experienced during the holidays subsides.
“However, bird flu will continue to be a challenge for poultry farmers who have been playing catch up to meet demand even prior to COVID,” Covington added. “Higher feed costs could also be a limiting factor right now for farmers who are trying to rebuild flocks.”