Unfortunately, significant food shortages and supply chain problems are starting in 2023. The nation has been battling supply chain instability ever since COVID-19 began. Many people are still stressed due to a complicated, multi-step, non-localized supply chain.
The egg crisis has demonstrated to firms in the food industry that there is still much room for improvement. Also, there is a general need for domestic and localized supply chain fulfillment methods.
Eggs have been a readily available and reasonably priced essential. But the egg crisis that started last year with the most recent avian flu outbreak has driven up their price and made them more challenging to find. The Consumer Price Index shows a 60% increase in egg costs nationwide during the past 12 months. The 2023 egg shortage is covered in this article.
Egg Scarcity in 2023
There are many contributing facets that we need to understand to capitalize on this situation. These consist of:
- Effects of demand and supply
- Bird flu cases
- Cage-free rules
- Supply-chain challenges
Effects of demand and supply
There have been significant changes in the American diet that were made public beginning in 2019. Due to that, many statisticians and nutritional experts predicted that there would be shortages on the rise. Government officials had never seen Americans consume this many eggs in 50 years. This gave a shocking twist to the supply chain at the time. Prices would fluctuate according to supply and demand, but far less than now. (As of January 2023)
This shift was attributed to changes in governmental food suggestions and the popularity of protein-heavy or “keto” diets. Along with these, there is also increased public knowledge of eggs as a substitute source of protein.
Americans maintain that statistical level; few are altering their routines despite rising costs. So long as suppliers attempt to balance supply and demand successfully, we should continue hoping for major price increases.
Bird flu cases:
The United States experienced a record number of bird flu infections in 2022. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is true. As a result, egg producers often got orders to regulate or eradicate populations. This is to protect and maintain the welfare of the rest of the flock.
Due to bird flu or preventative measures taken after exposure, 49 million chickens perished in 2022. This had put many egg producers in a condition of scarcity as demand remained high.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to monitor avian flu. This includes creating guidelines for limiting outbreaks on commercial poultry farms. But these measures cannot control this sickness in wild bird populations or among birds that do not seem ill.
Several of the top-producing states in the U.S. have recently passed cage-free legislation. They are placing restrictions on farmers who do not permit or prohibit using on-premises cages. Sadly, cage-free setups may call for more room per flock. The land costs in these states (California, Oregon, and Rhode Island) can be fairly high.
Many national egg producers are struggling to meet the current level of demand. This is due to shortages of supplies and transportation, such as packaging feed and gasoline. This led to price hikes between 2020 and 2022 before the increase in avian bird flu instances.
Egg costs are finally declining
One of nature’s ideal foods is an egg. They’re delectable, adaptable, and healthy and will once again be within reach of most people’s budgets. After reaching their high in December 2022, egg prices slightly decreased. But they have now reached a level where Americans may feel secure again buying eggs regularly and using them freely in their cooking.
According to sources, the wholesale cost of eggs is between $0.99 and $1.39 per dozen as of June 2023. The generic eggs from our grocery store were the most affordable. But other national brands were still priced at $5 and above.
In general, the supply has increased again, which has a significant impact on the price. During last year’s avian flu crisis, do you recall how periodically the egg aisles at supermarket stores were emptied? Since the chicken population is recovering steadily, that is no longer a problem.
Inflation and labor shortages impact egg costs, just like they do in every other business. Moreover, companies are pricing their goods to compensate for any missed earnings from the previous several months, if not longer. Even if it’s unlikely that we’ll see 2021 pricing for a while, at least this picnic season staple won’t be as hard on our wallets.
Things to learn about the egg shortage
Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, manufacturers of food and beverages can take some lessons from the 2023 egg scarcity.
Developing local and diverse supply chain routes can ensure a higher-quality experience for your national consumer base. This increases your options for other paths in the event of closure or failure. Otherwise, as we’ve seen with the Pacific Coast, extreme weather events have affected most of the country as the year has begun.
Two other advantages are a better chance of cost savings and the capacity to reinvest in regional economies for improved economic growth and security.
USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer presented at the annual USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Virginia. According to that, wholesale egg prices will decrease by 26.8% in 2023. The group has linked recent bird flu outbreaks, which have killed over 58 million backyard and commercial hens and turkeys since February 2022, to high egg costs. According to the agency, egg production will rise 4% this year to 9.4 billion dozen. Also, the number of birds that produce eggs will increase.
There should be a significant change from industrial farming and its propensity to promote disease. Otherwise, getting used to periodic shortages of staple items like lettuce and eggs will become a normal aspect of meal preparation.