FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WAYNE) – Egg prices continue to climb into the new year, a trend that will be established in late 2022.
The average value of a carton of eggs in the U.S. was about $4.25 last month, according to a USDA report.
According to the report, the price is “238% higher than the $1.79 set in December 2021.”
But when consumers decide whether they can skip eggs this week, it will not only be painful, it will hurt small businesses.
“I use eggs in everything I do,” says Cindy’s Diner bookkeeper John Scheele.
The diner has been a Fort Wayne tradition since 1952, surviving adversities like the recession and housing market crash. Scheele said this egg surge will be no different.
“We’re going to have to raise prices because everything is going up, not just eggs,” Scherer said. “We’ve done a good job and the client understands.”
While raising prices is a hard-and-easy solution to restaurants’ problems, the question of why eggs are expensive isn’t so easy to crack.
“It’s a combination of factors,” said Ben Hoffman, a farmer at Hoffman Farms.
Hoffman points to high feed prices and bird flu. The global epidemic, which started in places like China earlier this year, has not faded, he said.
“A large number of chicken flocks are shrinking globally, much earlier than normal,” Hoffman said.
Data from the continental United States also indicated that nearly 60 million poultry were affected in 47 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Allen County is one of Indiana’s affected areas (along with Elkhart, Johnson, Greene, Davis and DuBois).
As of Monday, the CDC reported more than 150 affected birds in Allen County in three separate outbreaks.