Dec 14, 2023 - Economy

"Eggs" make history as top-ranked Google search on cost in 2023

Data: Google Trends; Graphic: Jacque Schrag/Axios

In a year of high prices across the board, eggs stand out as the item most searched by Americans asking, "Why is ___ so expensive?"

Driving the news: In all 50 states and D.C., "eggs" topped the rankings, according to data shared with Axios from new analysis by Google Trends.

Why it matters: Although egg prices have been falling since January, the new findings cement them as a symbol of inflation-hit commodities.

  • This is the first time a single topic has been so ubiquitous across the country. No matter where you live in the U.S., you were impacted by 2023's record-high egg prices.
  • A decade ago, there were 23 different top-searched items, including everything from gas to pistachios.

The big picture: Americans weren't the only ones facing exorbitant prices for eggs. Fourteen other countries, including Canada and Mexico, also had "eggs" as their top "why is ___ so expensive" search in 2023.

Average U.S. price for a dozen eggs
Data: BLS; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

By the numbers: A dozen eggs cost an average price of $2.14, down from their peak price of $4.82 in January, according to the latest Consumer Price Index data.

Context: Widespread avian influenza in 2022 sent prices skyrocketing.

  • But eggs continue to cost 52% more than its November 2019 pre-pandemic price.

What's next: Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the country, said on Tuesday it had temporarily closed one of its Kansas facilities after 1.6% of its flock tested positive for bird flu, Bloomberg reports.

  • Another outbreak of the flu could kick-off another spike in prices.
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