Egg prices and its impact on local business

NOW: Egg prices and its impact on local business

SOUTH BEND, Ind., -- Egg prices hit an all-time high in December without much relief. Egg prices are still double the amount that we saw this time last year, but it’s not only impacting our wallets at the grocery store but for local businesses as well.

Peggs would not be Peggs without the eggs on the menu, owner Peg Dalton has had to make some adjustments.

"We're not going to raise prices 70 percent, right? We wouldn't see our customers," said Dalton.

At Peggs, the restaurant goes through ten to fifteen cases per week--at 15 dozen per case, that’s anywhere between 1,800 to 2,700 eggs. As we feel the pain at the grocery store, Dalton ensures not to pass on the extra cost to customers, and she’s had to manage challenges like this since the start of the pandemic.

"We've had price increases, delays, outages, shortages since the pandemic. We have just learned to pivot. We're paying more in labor than we ever have, for example and we don't feel the need to pass that along to our customers. We're gonna figure it out, change our business model a little bit. It's impacting our bottom line, but that's okay. It's temporary."

In December, we saw egg prices climb to a whopping $4.25 per dozen. Thankfully, there is a downward trend on these prices, but why are eggs so expensive in the first place?

The avian flu of 2022 is the main cause of the price hike. Poultry prices have not reached an all-time high because those chickens are not as susceptible to the bird flu, but egg-laying birds are, causing 52.7 million birds to have died this past year from disease or culling. And as flocks are killed to irradiate the disease, farmers essentially have to start from scratch which takes 16 to 18 weeks. But some slight relief is here.

In the Midwest, the wholesale price for a dozen eggs dropped 58 cents to a total of $3.29 per dozen at the end of January, but the flu continues to persist throughout the US. Without much relief in sight. As inflation continues--it is unlikely that we will see eggs under two dollars any time soon like this time last year. And that’s impacting local businesses like Peggs.

"It probably won’t come all the way back down, we know that, but when we have a temporary increase in anything from eggs to fuel to anything else," said Dalton." We make decisions on how we run the business that’s best for the customer in the long run.”

If you’d like to save money in the meantime, try some egg substitutes like bananas and flax seeds which work well for baking.

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