Skyrocketing price of eggs cracking local shoppers' budgets

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 18:22:54-05

(WXYZ) — Breakfast in the new year is expected to cost more. Prices of eggs are going up and are now a concern for many.

According to the Consumer Price Index, average egg prices increased by 49% in November 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

That's the largest annual percentage jump among all grocery items in that period.

Retired nurse Sherri Palmieri and her husband often grocery shop at a Meijer in Ann Arbor.

"I ration my eggs," said Sherri. "The prices have gone sky-high!"

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this time last year, a tray of dozen eggs was priced at around $1.70 cents. Now it's averaging around $3.60.

In fact, one customer, who preferred not to go on camera, showed us his receipt, says he forked out $6.39

"I guess we won't be eating eggs that often," said another customer, Kristen Schnyder. "The prices of everything have gone up, but that does make me a little frustrated."

To figure out what was going on, we met up with Ashley Kenny from Cedar View Farms.

Ashley left her auto industry job to open a farm with her husband. And since the pandemic, operating costs have gone up, which is also playing a role in rising egg prices.

"The cost of diesel fuel to farm, to harvest corn, and your wheat and oats, to get straw for bedding, for making food, if I can't feed my birds at a reasonable price, I can't sell my eggs at a reasonable price," said Ashley.

"We have the gray bin back here, I used to be able to fill it between 7-800 dollars, I filled it about 2 months ago, cost me 1,400 dollars," said Ashley.

And that's just feed for around two months. Plus, making matters worse, another factor driving high egg prices is bird flu. Ashley says since there is no cure, it's the strict safety protocols that have kept the farm free of avian influenza so far.

"If one of them gets i,t all of them gets it. I would essentially have to burn everything to the ground and start over because it affects the soil," she said.

With no solution in sight, customers like Sherri are limiting the use of eggs, while her sister Debbie James has found an alternative.

"She actually joined a big warehouse club because they had a good price on two dozen eggs," said Sherri.

Meanwhile, supporting local farmers is one way to get eggs at a lower price. Ashley says eggs purchased at her farm are not being sold at a markup as costs are mitigated in other ways.

"I would rather feed my neighbors and keep the cost reasonable; I would rather keep people happy and keep them coming back," said Ashley.

Ashley believes the price of eggs are only going to go up further, so the best thing people can do right now is shop for eggs at their local farmers.