Mar 30, 2024 - Business

High egg prices impact Easter egg hunts for second year

Average price of one dozen eggs
Data: Datasembly's Grocery Price Index;Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Call it Easter eggflation: High egg prices are impacting holiday celebrations for the second year in a row.

Why it matters: Supply issues related to the ongoing bird flu outbreak and weather-related demand have fueled the inflation of eggs in recent months.

  • Egg prices increased 8.4% last month from January but were still 17% lower than a year ago, according to the latest Consumer Price Index.
  • The national average for a dozen eggs was $4.38 as of March 24, down from $4.68 around the same time last year, Datasembly told Axios.

The big picture: Easter is the second hottest demand period of the year for eggs and only trails the busy winter holidays, Brian Moscogiuri, a global trade strategist at Eggs Unlimited, told Axios.

  • There are usually more promotions around Easter but "we're not seeing as much of that this year," Moscogiuri said.
  • Eggs are also a big part of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which starts April 22.

Zoom in: Datasembly's Grocery Price Index found the price of eggs is up 45% nationwide in March compared to pre-pandemic times.

  • Hawaii has the most expensive eggs at $7.05 for a dozen, followed by Alaska at $6.25, Oregon at $5.97 and California at $5.85.
  • Missouri had the cheapest eggs at $3.14 a dozen, followed by Kansas at $3.19, Oklahoma at $3.21 and Vermont at $3.27, according to Datasembly.

Easter egg hunts and "potato eggs"

Record-high egg prices in 2023 sprouted the idea of a budget-friendly Easter alternative like painting potatoes instead of eggs.

Our thought bubble: Consumers aren't expected to scramble to replace eggs with potatoes with the same fervor this year since egg prices are lower.

Yes, but: Potatoes USA, the national marketing and promotion board representing U.S. growers and importers, has a how-to guide on painting the spuds.

  • PETA sent a letter to Jill Biden to ask the first lady to replace eggs with potatoes for the White House Easter Egg Roll.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been asking for "kinder" Easter egg alternatives like plastic or wood eggs for years.

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