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Excuse Me, Are Those Golden Eggs?

Excuse Me, Are Those Golden Eggs?

This chart shows the change in prices of selected food items in the U.S. between Dec. 2021 and Dec. 2022.


While Americans have gotten used to sticker shock over the past year as prices for food, gas, and other everyday items surged, many did a double take when buying a couple of eggs lately. The average price for a dozen Grade A large eggs reached $4.25 last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from just $1.79 twelve months earlier. According to the latest CPI reading, egg prices rose by nearly 60 percent between December 2021 and December 2022, far outpacing the price increases seen for other food staples.

So what’s behind the “eggflation” crisis that has even caused a surge in illegally imported eggs from Mexico, where prices are significantly lower? Aside from inflationary pressures hitting food prices across the shelve, egg prices have additionally been affected by a severe bird flu outbreak, which disrupted egg supply in 2022. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. farmers lost more than 40 million laying hens to HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) last year, resulting in a mid-single-digit percentage decline in total egg production. And because eggs are hard to substitute, relatively small decreases in supply significantly impact prices, resulting in the latest surge.

Like oil and gas companies seeing profits surge during the energy price crisis, there have also been some winners of the egg price surge. Some egg producers barely affected by the avian flu reported record profits in 2022, leading to renewed calls for a windfall profits tax.

Source: Statista

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Mike Mercurio | | 301-575-0332

Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.