Egg Prices Reach $7.37, Yet Are Still Cheaper Than Other Proteins

Buying eggs in a supermarket stock photo
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In November, the price of eggs was up 49.1% according to the Consumer Price Index, making eggs the single food item most impacted by inflation in 2022. As expected, prices are still sky high for eggs in the new year. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows that in California, a dozen eggs cost $7.37 the week of Jan. 16, up from $2.35 a year prior.

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In response to the record-high egg prices, Farm Action sent a letter on Thursday asking the FTC “to promptly open an investigation into the egg industry, prosecute any violations of the antitrust laws it finds within, and ultimately, get the American people their money back.”

“Our network includes farmers, ranchers, rural community leaders, food system workers, independent processors and grocers, and policymakers across the country,” Farm Action wrote in its nearly six-page letter. “We write today to convey concerns over apparent price gouging, price coordination, and other unfair or deceptive acts or practices by dominant producers of eggs such as Cal-Maine Foods, Rose Acre Farms, Versova Holdings, and Hillandale Farms, among others.”

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Though eggs are costlier than ever, they’re actually considered inexpensive in comparison to other animal protein types right now.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a pound of boneless chicken breast sold for $4.42 on average in November, a pound of ground beef sold for $4.85 and a pound of sliced bacon sold for $7.24.

Why are these food items getting so astronomically expensive? Each case is unique.

The cost of chicken is rising primarily because of increased demand tied with a rise in production (mostly feed) costs. Ground beef is costlier than it used to be in part because of how drought is affecting cattle herds (leading many to be liquidated by farmers) — and bacon is extra pricey because of complex supply and demand issues.

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Consumer Price Index: You Paid More For Bacon in December, But Less for Fruits and Veggies

The soaring price of eggs is largely due to the outbreak of a deadly avian flu which, according to the CDC, has affected nearly 58 million poultry — many of them egg-laying hens — as of Jan. 11.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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