FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Egg prices have continued to climb into the new year, a trend that was established at the tail end of 2022.
According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture, the average carton of eggs in America was valued at about $4.25 last month.
Per the report, that price was ‘238% higher than the $1.79 price set in December 2021.’
But the pain isn’t just felt when consumers are deciding whether or not they can skip eggs this week, it’s also hurting small businesses.
“I use eggs in everything,” said John Scheele, the bookkeeper of Cindy’s Diner.
The diner has been a Fort Wayne tradition since 1952, surviving a recession and the housing market crash amongst other hardships. And Scheele says this egg surge will be no different.
“We’re gonna have to raise the prices because it’s not only eggs, it’s everything that went up,” Scheele said. “We’re doing well, the customers understand.”
While raising prices is a hard yet simple solution to a restaurant’s problems, the issue of why eggs are expensive isn’t quite as easy to crack.
“It has to do with a multitude of factors,” said Ben Hoffman, a farmer with Hoffman Farms.
Hoffman points to both high feed prices, and the bird flu. He says it started early this year worldwide in places like China and has yet to subside.
“The vast amount of flocks that are contracting around the globe, it’s a lot earlier than normal,” said Hoffman.
And the data stateside agrees, per the CDC, nearly 60 million poultry birds have been affected across 47 states.
Allen county is among the affected in Indiana (alongside Elkhart, Johnson, Greene, Daviess, and Dubois).
As of Monday, the CDC reports that among three different outbreaks, Allen county has more than 150 affected birds.