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Local restaurants, bakeries feel the impact of rising egg prices

The average price of a dozen eggs is now more than double what it was a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Marissa Alter

Jan 13, 2023, 12:51 AM

Updated 526 days ago

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While inflation has everyone paying more at the grocery store, nothing has soared more than the price of eggs. The average price of a dozen eggs is now more than double what it was a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And while there's sticker shock in the aisles, business that rely on eggs are feeling the pinch even more.
Orem's Diner in Wilton goes through 660 dozen eggs a week, according to owner Demetri Papanikolau. That's close to 8,000 eggs.
"We're a diner. We serve eggs. That is our staple. That's what people come here for—eggs and omelets," Papanikolau said. "And it's not just the eggs and omelets. Eggs are in everything, like in French toast batter."
That means Papanikolau is paying a lot more for the breakfast staple than ever before.
"At the height, just before Christmas, tenfold of what it would normally cost," he told News 12. "Thousands per month more."
Papanikolau said that has him considering raising prices.
"We haven't yet, but we will have to if it continues on the path that it's been. We don't have any other choice," he explained.
Forever Sweet Bakery in Norwalk is also thinking about doing the same.
"We're trying to not raise our prices to pass that cost over to the customer, but it's very difficult," said owner Sky Mercede.
The business, known for its cupcakes, cakes and cookies, uses eggs in everything it sells. Mercede told News 12 that adds up to about 600 eggs a week.
"We've noticed that the price keeps going up each week. Although this past week, it did go down a little bit," Mercede said.
It's still a far cry from the cost one year ago, and Mercede said there's no way to substitute something cheaper into their recipes.
While inflation bears part of the blame for the sharp rise in egg prices, the biggest factor is an outbreak of avian flu that has decimated chicken farms, according to the Department of Agriculture. The agency said almost 58 million birds have been wiped out since early last year, making it the deadliest outbreak in the country's history. That's led to a supply shortage and expensive eggs.
According to data from the USDA, in Jan. 2022, the average nation-wide price for a dozen large Grade A eggs was $1.39. By November, the average price had increased to $3.59. In the northeast, the prices were and continue to be way higher. The Department of Agriculture said as farmers replace their flocks lost to bird flu, there may be some relief coming in egg prices, but it could take some time before that's reflected in the dairy aisle.


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