Bird flu raises egg prices, leaves Omaha grocery stores with limited supplies

Eggs shelves are emptying at local grocers in the Omaha-metro.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:06 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Eggs shelves are emptying at local grocers in the Omaha-metro.

This year, the U.S. has dealt with one of the worst outbreaks of bird flu ever. So far, about 37 million egg-laying hens have died, accounting for 10% of production.

“My family loves eggs, and we use them pretty much in every dish at home,” Thi Tran said.

She said she had to go to a couple of different grocery stores just to find eggs for her Friendsgiving gathering. The ones she did find were expensive.

“Sam’s Club’s are really expensive — I know that it’s like 7 or 8 dollars for a pack,” Tran said.

After hunting for eggs at seven stores, 6 News found some stores had a very small selection; others had no eggs at all.

Tran said she may end up making different dishes than she’d planned.

“With baking and everything, and with the holidays rolling around, it’s very hard for us to compensate for that shortage,” Tran said.

The egg shortage isn’t only affecting grocery stores. One restaurant 6 News talked to said they’ve had to double their prices.

“We’ve had to nudge the prices of eggs here and there because of the high price of eggs,” said Colin Duggin, owner of Kitchen Table.

He said he normally buys his eggs from local vendors. But with inflation around with the shortage and high prices, he said he’s had to rely more on commodity eggs.

“The problem with that is that there’s never enough local eggs, so you have to dabble into those commodity eggs to keep up,” Duggin said.

Despite this, he said, his business is still going strong. But he hopes egg prices go down soon.

“The price of eggs is insane right now,” Duggin said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects the shortage to continue into next year.