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How COVID-19 Is Scrambling The Egg Business

Mark Heard
Flickr Creative Commons

It’s hard to keep some items stocked in stores these days. We’ve all heard about the toilet paper shortage. But what about eggs?

COVID-19 has caused a historic spike in egg demand, according to the American Egg Board. They’re a staple for many, and Easter hasn’t helped. That’s not all, though, according to Bill Scebbi, executive director of Colorado Egg Producers, a trade group.

“People are also stress baking,” he said with a chuckle.

That means eggs along with yeast and flour are flying off the shelves. But Scebbi said hens are still laying and there are a lot of eggs in the supply chain. Many were just bound for places like restaurants, but now need to be redirected and repackaged.

“To be honest, the packaging of those eggs that would go to restaurants or go to hotels is different than what you would put on your shelves in the store,” Scebbi said.

He added that consumers’ demand for eggs has started leveling off, but will probably stay high for the next several weeks.

As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, egg prices for grocers across the U.S. averaged $3.01 a dozen at the beginning of April, compared with 94 cents at the beginning of March, according to USDA data.

Find reporter Madelyn Beck on Twitter  @MadelynBeck8

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Do you have questions about COVID-19? How has this crisis affected you? Our reporters would love to hear from you. You can submit your question or share your story here.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

Madelyn Beck is Boise State Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau.
Madelyn Beck is Boise State Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. She's from Montana but has reported everywhere from North Dakota to Alaska to Washington, D.C. Her last few positions included covering energy resources in Wyoming and reporting on agriculture/rural life issues in Illinois.
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