Pricing Eggs, and New Egg Products

by Thursday Bram on 17 April 2008 11 comments

During my last trip to the grocery market, there was a sign in the egg case announcing that, yes, the price of eggs are rising. I’m guessing that there have been a few complaints.

There are several reasons for that rise, with consumers blaming everything from the Atkins diet to ethanol — Atkins because of a higher demand for beef, eggs and other food high in protein and ethanol because of the use of corn (also used for chicken feed) in ethanol production and an upwards trend in corn prices. One key issue is actually the rapidly rising cost of transporting eggs from the chicken to your kitchen; that is to say rising gas prices mean rising food prices.

The cost of a dozen eggs has jumped, on average, 60 percent from where it was a year ago, and grocery stores are passing that cost along. Organic products, by the way have seen an equivalent jump, pricing plenty of buyers out of the market.

There isn’t a simple solution to combating rising food prices. I’ve been concentrating on making as much of my menu from scratch as I can. But even staples are costing more than they did even a few months ago.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped companies with coming out with new egg products, such as ready-to-serve hard-boiled eggs . For $4.59, you too can buy a bag of already cooked eggs.

Elizabeth Passarella, at The Kitchn , has reviewed these gems (marketed to those of us without 10 minutes and a pan full of water, perhaps?).

They tasted stale, the whites were rubbery, and the yolks were pretty hard. Our bag contained 11 eggs and cost $4.59, which isn't a premium we're willing to pay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth, thanks for your review — personally, I think I can skip the taste test. I’ll stick to buying an uncooked dozen for half the price. I know I’ll be surprised at how well these pre-cooked eggs will end up doing. I’d like to think that they won’t sell, but I know plenty of people will buy them just to save a few minutes.

And the price of eggs (cooked or raw) will keep going up. In the next year, the USDA predicts that 31 percent of American corn production will not go to food. Instead, it will be used in ethanol production. One third of American corn crops will raise food prices even further, from eggs in a Maryland grocery story to bread in Haiti and Bangladesh.

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Guest's picture
Miranda

What I love is how the government doesn't include food (or energy) in the core inflation. So when they report inflation, it makes the picture look better than it is.

Core inflation is not a practical measure, since energy and food are two things most of HAVE to have, not to mention what we spend a great deal of money on.

Guest's picture
Kate

I have also heard that food prices are also rising because of the increased world population and therefore there is a greater demand for food, which we are having trouble meeting.

As you say the demand for biofuels is putting the pressure on our crops, thus impacting on both our food supply and farm animal feeds.

Unless the world doesn't wise up soon and realise that we have to change how we behave and what we use then i truely fear for the future. Fingers crossed for a car engine that doesn't require liquid fuels and for people to waste less, well everything.

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Wheat prices also went up quite a bit because of global competition.  So a lot of bakeries and pizzerias have had to increase their prices.  My Trader Joe's pizza dough used to be 99 cents a pack.  Now it's 1.29.  It's like a 30% increase in two months.  *barfs*

Guest's picture
Charise

I buy local free range eggs from a local farm. The farmer sells them at the farmer's market in the summer and at the local health food store during winter. You can even go to her farm and collect them yourself. Guess what? Aside from the bonus that these eggs are tastier the price has not gone up.

I think that gas prices are effecting the rise in food prices more then people realize.

Linsey Knerl's picture

We raise our own chickens and get more eggs than we can use.  We sell the eggs to friends and family for $2 a dozen (well below what they are worth.)  I see it is a service to those we know well.  I can't imagine what the cost will be in the store in a few months!  People are even selling "laying hens" for $12 a hen.  If you can raise your own, it's worth it (and the taste can not be beat!)

Guest's picture

Eggs are a part of my diet that I cannot live without but the price is making it so that I can't buy them every week when I'm at the store. It makes me crazy that I have to spend so much money to do something that is such a basic need in order to survive.

I am really looking into getting a laying hen to save on my grocery bill.

Guest's picture
Rita B

Anyone know the weekly costs associated with keeping hens. Do the costs outweigh the savings for eggs.

I'm allergic to soy and react to eggs from soy fed chickens. I like the idea of having hens that are fed grains only but I'd concerned about the cost.

Guest's picture
Glue

I bought three laying hens for myself three years ago. I spend about $7 a month on feed. The rest they get themselves from the ground outside. And they are still laying. The benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

Myscha Theriault's picture

While I'm interested in exploring the raise your own option, the truth is, I'm just not "there" yet. Kudos galore to those who pull it off. And I agree, the taste is definitely worth it.

I did a post a while back on how we combat the rising cost of eggs via baking substitutes and using them as more of a feature ingredient only.

Since the price is continuing to climb however, I'd be interested to see how this conversation unfolds with regards to additional ideas. Of course, additional areas of savings, like what you are doing with your apartment garden, Thursday, can only help.

Looking forward to input from other egg lovers.

 

Guest's picture
Guest

I remember when they came out with the pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was like, " Who is too lazy to make a a pb&j?" Apparently, a lot of people because it has been very successful. (And no, I never have bought one!)

Guest's picture
Guest

you nerds have no life