The price of a dozen eggs is up — here's why and a few tips for saving money.
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Fresh chicken eggs in a package. One egg is broken.
Credit: Maria Khomiakova / Getty Images

Take a trip to the grocery store and you may be surprised to find that the price of a dozen eggs has seemingly skyrocketed . This week we went to three grocery stores in the Tampa Bay region — PublixRollin' Oats Market & Cafe, an independent natural food market, and Sprouts — to do some comparison shopping and found the cost of a dozen large eggs eye-popping.

Of the three stores we shopped, Sprouts had the lowest price at $2.79 for a dozen of the store brand cage-free large eggs. On the other hand, Sprouts also had the most expensive dozen eggs: Vital Farms Organic Pasture-Raised Large Grade A Eggs for $7.49.

The trip to Publix proved to be surprising. While the store's branded items usually cost less than name brands, a dozen Publix large eggs checks out at $3.39, while the Eggland's Best brand a few shelves above — with just one dozen remaining on the shelf when we were there — scans at $3.06. The egg options at Rollin' Oats fell in the middle of the road between Sprouts' and Publix's pricing.

With the varying prices, it pays to shop around, even within the same store shelves.

Why Are Egg Prices Rising?

So, what's causing the rising cost of a dozen eggs? We reached out to the American Egg Board to find out.

"It's important to know that farmers don't usually get to choose the price of their eggs," says Marc Dresner with the American Egg Board. "Eggs are priced on the commodity market, like corn and wheat. Temporary increases in egg prices reflect many factors. Like many sectors of the economy, egg farming is being impacted by inflation and experiencing supply chain challenges related to increases in cost and availability of feed and grain, labor and transportation.

Recent cases of bird flu have created additional strains. As of May 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 37 million poultry birds have been affected by the illness. Laying hens make up about 78 percent of that number, totaling more than 29 million affected birds, which has impacted supply, another factor that may be driving up prices.

"Affordable food matters to everyone, and America's egg farmers are working around the clock to keep eggs affordable and in plentiful supply," Dresner continues. "Eggs remain one of the lowest-cost, highest-quality proteins available, and egg farmers are committed to keeping grocery stores stocked.

Dresner also cites Nielsen retail pricing data; the most recent four weeks' data shows conventional eggs at $2.25 a dozen, which is +15% versus the same period in 2021 ($1.96). 

"It's worth noting that in January 2022, prices were $2.14/dozen, so prices have risen by about 5% in the first three months of this year," he adds. "Also of interest, the year-to-date price for what Nielsen calls 'total eggs' – this refers to ALL shell eggs tracked in the retail category by Nielsen, including cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised, etc.— is $2.37, which is +20% when compared to the first three months of last year."

When Will Egg Prices Come Down?

When asked when we can expect egg prices to return to normal, Dresner says that's impossible to predict, "…but pricing fluctuations in commodities, like eggs, are historically temporary."

Egg Substitutes to Try

With rising prices, it may be worth considering swapping out eggs in recipes and using substitute ingredients instead. For ideas on how to do just that, we checked in with a few vegan bakers.

Ed and Natasha Tatton of BReD Made by Ed in Whistler, British Columbia, say that it's important to consider the function of the egg when considering an egg substitute.

"To bind ingredients together, you can use vegetable starches such as potato or corn starch," the couple advises. "These have emulsifier properties, as does flax and chia seed and psyllium husk."

As far as an egg white substitute, the bakers say one to consider is aquafaba, from the Latin aqua (water) and faba (bean), or "the liquid you drain out of your chickpeas when you cook them or empty a can."

"This is a magical liquid, which can be reduced by half its quantity (if you have cooked the chickpeas yourself) and used to make meringues," say Ed and Natasha. "The trick to this is not using an oven, but a dehydrator as the temperature can be kept consistent.

"Aquafaba freezes really well – the colder it is, the more likely it is to [function just like] egg whites," the couple adds. "Aquafaba lasts for ages in the freezer, too. Pour it in ice cube trays, freeze it and defrost when you need it. You don't need to throw that bean water away again!"

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