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Egg prices continue to soar in Central Oregon due to avian flu, feed costs, despite cooling inflation

(Update: Adding video, prices, store, shopper comments)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Egg prices are up more than 60% since December 2021, according to Consumer Price Index data released recently. The price hikes have been felt across Central Oregon, from organic hen farms to grocery stores to restaurants.

The median cost of a dozen eggs in the U.S. is at $4.25, more than double a year ago, Forbes reported Thursday. And while inflation has had its impact, the primary reason is the avian flu that has decimated chicken farmers, affecting as many as 57 million chickens.

"With the impact of the avian flu, that was really detrimental for our supply, and it will probably continue to be an issue for us heading into spring" Lexie Park, store associate at Central Oregon Locavore, explained Thursday. "They have remained steady. We do try to keep our prices set here, since we are a nonprofit, so we haven't increased our prices there, but we'll just have to see what happens down the road."

Customers are also feeling the pinch at the supermarket. At Fred Meyer, a dozen organic eggs will run you $7, while a dozen organic eggs at Safeway costs $5.79. Five-dozen white eggs at Fred Meyer haven't gone up too dramatically, with the current price sitting at $10.55. Five-dozen white eggs from Safeway will cost you $11.49.

 After buying a couple dozen eggs from Central Oregon Locavore, customer Luke Shank says he definitely noticed a difference in his grocery bill.

"Yes, they have increased, I would say 30%," Shank said. "I don't think it's been that substantial, I wouldn't say I'm the biggest egg eater out there, but I do notice the price. I mean, it has gone up for sure."

Although post-holiday demand for eggs is easing, along with inflation, the increase in prices is expected to hold until more chickens are born without the avian flu infection, which could keep egg prices up at least until spring.

Article Topic Follows: Business
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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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