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Colorado’s egg shortage raises prices, leaves grocery stores bare




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

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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

What’s up: Expensive eggs are starting to pull back from December’s record highs, albeit slowly, writes Axios’ Kelly Tyko.

  • The nationwide cooldown comes after the price of a carton rose 49% in November, reaching an average of $3.59 a dozen, compared with a year earlier, according to the Consumer Price Index.
  • Aside from inflation and consumer demand, costs have also been driven up by the deadly bird flu outbreak — the worst in U.S. history — that 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 requiring locally raised chickens to be cage-free if their eggs are sold in grocery stores, which has also disrupted the supply chain.

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

🥚 By the numbers: We hit up a number of Denver grocery stores to find the best deals on a dozen eggs. Fair warning: They may not be in stock in your neighborhood.

Walmart: $2.22

  • Great value and grade A white eggs

Ideal Market: $3.29

  • 365 of Whole Foods Market Outdoor Access Large Grade A White Eggs

Trader Joe’s: $3.29

  • Trader Joe’s Grade A Cage Free Large Brown Eggs

Sprouts: $3.29

  • Germinates cage-free large white eggs of class A

Full meal: $3.29

  • 365 of Whole Foods Market Outdoor Access Large Grade A Brown Eggs

Safeway: $5.29

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

  • Organic Valley free-range large brown grade A eggs

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