Jan 9, 2023 - News

Colorado's egg shortage drives up prices — but relief could be coming

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill featuring Benjamin Franklin with egg on his face

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado shoppers who've shelled out more money on eggs in recent months may have something to get egg-cited about.

What's happening: Pricey eggs are starting to retreat from December's record highs, albeit slowly, Axios' Kelly Tyko writes.

  • The nationwide cooldown comes after the price of a carton soared 49% in November, hitting an average of $3.59 a dozen, compared to a year earlier, according to the Consumer Price Index.
  • Apart from inflation and consumer demand, costs have also been driven up by the deadly avian influenza outbreak — the worst in U.S. history — which has killed more than 6 million birds in Colorado, including eight commercial flocks, per the USDA.

Driving the news: The egg shortage coincides with a new state law that requires locally-raised chickens be cage-free if their eggs are sold in grocery stores, which has also disrupted the supply chain.

  • Some grocery stores, including Whole Foods, are now limiting egg carton purchases to two per person.
  • The issue is also impacting Denver restaurants. Hoja, for example, announced this month it would no longer serve eggs in its breakfast burritos due in large part to rising prices.
A sign posted on the egg shelves at a Whole Foods grocery store in Denver. Photo: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

🥚 By the numbers: We popped into a number of Denver grocery stores to scope out the best deals for a dozen eggs. Fair warning: They may not be in stock at your neighborhood location.

Walmart: $2.22

  • Great Value large and Grade A white eggs

Ideal Market: $3.29

  • 365 by Whole Foods Market Outdoor Access large Grade A white eggs

Trader Joe's: $3.29

  • Trader Joe's cage-free large Grade A brown eggs

Sprouts: $3.29

  • Sprouts cage-free large Grade A white eggs

Whole Foods: $3.29

  • 365 by Whole Foods Market Outdoor Access large Grade A brown eggs

Safeway: $5.29

  • Oak Glen Grade B eggs

King Soopers: $5.49, on sale ($5.99 regular price)

  • Organic Valley free-range large Grade A brown eggs
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