MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – If you’ve been doing any holiday baking this year, you know it costs more to get all the ingredients you need — especially eggs.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of eggs has increased roughly 50% in 2022. Officials with Alabama’s Poultry and Egg Association say there are a few reasons behind the increase. Avian flu outbreaks, combined with higher feed and transportation costs, have led to a pricier product at checkout.
“There’s fewer chickens laying eggs. At the same time, our costs have gone up. We’ve had to pass that along to try to break even,” said Johnny Adams, CEO of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association.
Adams said that if there is a sunny side to the situation, it’s that Alabama’s chickens have not been affected by flu outbreak. Most of the chickens in the state are raised for meat, while the egg-laying ones impacted by bird flu are in the Midwest.
“At this point, we’ve been very fortunate, we’ve not had any commercial disease outbreaks but we’re very conscious about biosecurity and trying to do things to keep that from happening,” Adams said.
Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate said the avian flu typically goes away as cooler weather arrives, but this past year has been different.
“It’s really been the first year that it’s just continued to pop up. We’ve done, like I said, an excellent job. We don’t have really any in our poultry industry in Alabama,” Pate said.
Pate said because the egg supply right now is so low and the demand hasn’t slowed, he doesn’t see eggs getting cheaper anytime soon.
“I wouldn’t anticipate that the prices are going to go down anytime soon. But it’s certainly explainable. Nobody’s, I don’t believe, taking advantage of anybody,” he said.
Other food products that have seen big year-over-year price increases include margarine, butter and flour.