Bird flu causing egg shortage, spiking up prices in Arizona grocery stores

Because of the bird flu and demand, egg prices in Arizona have jumped 50% but the stay is doing 'OK' as far as hens laying eggs, experts say.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 9:19 PM MST

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A viral outbreak is disrupting breakfast for millions of Americans, prompting a nationwide egg shortage. Now, Arizona families are seeing egg prices skyrocket. Amanda Gray got her grocery shopping done, but she’s exhausted with one thing. “Prices are outrageous for eggs. They’re just outrageous, and I’m sure from farm to table, everyone is struggling. But definitely, prices are going up,” said Gray.

According to the Consumer Price Index, the price of eggs shot up by 49% in the past year. Julie Murphree, with the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, said egg producers nationwide are getting hit hard by the bird flu and impacting egg-laying hens. She said Arizona is hanging on. “As of right now, Arizona is OK in terms of our laying hens here in the farms that have birds that lay eggs,” said Murphree. “It’s still one of our most economical natural proteins. So at almost 50% increase, it’s still very economical in the world of proteins.”

The Arizona Food Marketing Alliance represents most major grocery stores in the state. Its president, Mark Miller, said supply and demand is driving up prices at stores. “The price is set by the national level because there’s so many different producers that move throughout the states. Where one might have a problem, then the other one tries to fill it up and causes a shortage in our state,” said Miller.

He said from his visits, inventory and selection are still good in many stores. However, it’s not the case for others. One Valley store employee said eggs are going fast, but Gray hopes the high prices will go away faster. “Some relief would be nice. We are fortunate enough to be able to put food on our table but other families are not in the same situation,” said she said. “We all just need some relief.”